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“It’s a big deal”: Jimmie Allen reflects on the impact of Darius Rucker’s 2020 CMAs hosting gig

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ABC/CMAAs the country music world counts down to the 2020 CMA Awards tonight, Jimmie Allen is reflecting on how Darius Rucker’s role as host will impact representation of Black artists in the genre.

“It’s a big deal,” the singer and New Artist of the Year nominee says. “Because you figure the only other Black person that hosted was Charley Pride in 1975, with Glen Campbell.”

Not only is Jimmie performing his hit “Best Shot” on the CMAs stage tonight, he’ll also be a big part of that representation when he presents Pride with the 2020 Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award.

But the most important thing, Jimmie stresses, is young audience members seeing that it’s possible for Black performers to make it in country music.

“It’s gonna be some…young Black kid flipping through that television and seeing Darius hosting the Country Music Awards. Like, ‘Wait, what? I can do country music?’ The crazy thing is, a lot of people don’t know there are Black country artists,” he reflects. 

“I feel like if we’re all about equality and inclusiveness, we should represent that in our programming, in our formats and our genres of music,” Jimmie continues. “Every ethnicity, every culture should have some sort of representation.”

The 2020 CMA Awards kicks off tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.

By Carena Liptak
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