When Jimmie Allen released “This Is Us” with Noah Cyrus — daughter of Billy Ray, sister of Miley — back in February, little did we know that it was only the tip of one very star-studded iceberg. 

“It was written by Noah, a few other writers, and my buddy Tyler Hubbard from FGL,” Jimmie tells ABC Audio. “I love the song, and just sound-wise, it just fits right in with what I do anyway, like a mix between, like country and pop and rock and with some R-and-B inflections.” 

Jimmie’s connection with Noah came through the music business, but it was just one of many more to come.

“That one happened because my manager actually does business with her record label head,” Jimmie explains. “They sent the song down and asked if I wanted to be a part of it.”

It turns out “This Is Us” is the lead single from Jimmie’s seven-track EP of celebrity collaborations, titled Bettie James, in honor of his beloved grandmother, Bettie Snead, and his dad, James Allen

It includes non-country stars like rapper Nelly, actress Rita Wilson, and worship leader Tauren Wells, alongside country icons Tim McGrawBrad Paisley, and The Oak Ridge Boys.

Even so, there are a couple tracks that are extra special.

“Has there ever been two Black country artists doing a duet?” Jimmie asks. “Has that ever been done?”  

It’s a feat Jimmie accomplishes by teaming up with Mickey Guyton on “Drunk and I Miss You,” and snagging both Darius Rucker and Charley Pride for “Why Things Happen.”

Bettie James is available to stream or download now, on the heels of Jimmie’s first two singles, “Best Shot” and “Make Me Want To,” which both topped the country chart.  

By Stephen Hubbard
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