It’s nearly impossible to find country music star Jimmie Allen without his familiar, dimpled smile. Fans always see the familiar expressions from the “Make Me Want To” singer onstage. Even when Allen wears his shades, as he did just about a week ago with his buddy, Brad Paisley, for a Good Morning America wake-up with “Freedom Was a Highway,” he can’t hide the smile.
As it happens, Jimmie Allen still flashes his smile and talks about personal freedom in a different way during his July 13 conversation with Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on Today. The talented artist talks about marriage, his growing family, and the message behind his new children’s book, My Voice Is a Trumpet. Let’s just say that Jimmie never runs short of things to say, but in this case, he shares a little-known story of his childhood.
Hearing the same last name still seems new to Jimmie Allen
The early hours of the morning show and talking from different time zones never throws Jimmie Allen off track, but the genre-blending “Best Shot” singer-songwriter surprised everyone in the space of a month when he married his longtime love, Alexis Gale, in late May. Jimmie relates in an MSN per People feature that the intimate ceremony took place in Pennsylvania. “We didn’t get too wrapped up in a bunch of nonsense,” the singer insists.
In actuality, the couple intended to wed soon after their Disney World proposal and gender reveal for their daughter, Naomi. The pandemic put a pause on that plan, and Naomi arrived last March, right on time. Soon after their vows, the growing family breaks the news that another baby girl is on the way, expected in November.
“It’s different, but it’s not different,” Jimmie Allen confesses to the hosts. “I feel like I have to listen to her more…” He continues. The affable performer contends that he used to say “This is mine– this says ‘Allen.’” As a married man, however, his wife interjects that “that’s my last name, too,” bringing a startle to her husband.
The author truly finds his voice
Speaking of being startled, Jimmie Allen and Alexis Gale got a big surprise with the confirmation of another female in the family. “I thought it was going to be a boy,” Allen reveals. “We both did.” The devoted dad playfully teases about simply calling his daughter “Hey, you!” His own experience growing up surrounded by strong women gives him insight for moving into the future with his Allen ladies. Originally, the Game of Thrones aficionado bounced around the idea of naming his baby daughter on the way Arya Stark, but Lexi has her say in the matter, too. Wait for the birth certificate.
Not by coincidence, having his say was truly a challenge for Jimmie Allen through his childhood. A debilitating stutter sparked the dread of “talking in person” or “reading in public” in any form. Allen employed slapping his leg to help them get the words out. Still, even friends ran out of patience to respond to remarks or questions from the future platinum-selling star.
Jimmie learns that singing words works wonders
Later, Jimmie Allen finds a speech pathologist (“It sounds expensive,” he interjects.) to help him overcome the issue. Initially, she teaches him to write down the thoughts he wants to say. Then, she urges him to sing the first two words, much like Country music’s Mel Tillis practiced with his stuttering situation.
Jimmie Allen happily demonstrates his easy, sing-songy greeting of “How y’all doing today?” “Ever since I stopped stuttering, I can’t shut up,” the artist proclaims. Fans don’t want it any other way.
As for what Jimmie Allen wants to say with My Voice Is a Trumpet, the title itself speaks a lot. “A trumpet is loud– no one ignores a trumpet,” Jimmie Allen reiterates in his Walmart Storytime segment. Even silent voices, spoken through the hands, exhibit great power for good through the pages of Allen’s story. The author wants his young readers to feel inspired to not only use their own voices for good but to speak out in encouragement to others.
Early years count
“The years of childhood—from kindergarten to fourth grade—are the years kids get what they need in their tool belt,” Jimmie Allen exemplifies. “All they’re gonna have as a teen and adult goes in then,” the passionate parent and performer stresses.
Despite the sway of social media, Jimmie Allen assures that “The person you should be is more like yourself,” the singer declares in People. “Right now, reassurance and confidence-building in children is super important.” Voices are expressed through rainbows, honey, and lions in Allen’s pages, and every voice matters through the authentically inclusive illustrations. Jimmie credits his first and second-grade teachers (by name) for propelling and inspiring him in his authorship effort. One of them will be doing the audio version of My Voice Is a Trumpet.
Fond summer memories
While Jimmie Allen never expected another baby girl, he clearly adores the daughter he has with Alexis and her big brother, Aadyn, 7, from a previous relationship. The singer-songwriter dedicates his first song written to a woman, “Forever” to his wife and the commitment to forever love that they share. Allen offers a perfect impression of toddler Naomi in perfect pout mode. He describes himself as a “pretty chill dad” and he takes learning in stride with his kids. Jimmie also recalls his time employed as an overnight stocker at Walmart. Life looks different now. Nonetheless, the artist stays grateful for every minute.
Jimmie Allen is gearing up for his hometown Bettie James Festival in Delaware next month, named after his grandmother, like the album of the same name. When dad is on the road in the summer, the days are perfect times to make memories with the family. Since Aadyn feels a bit overwhelmed with the prospect of “too many girls” in his life as a school-ager, bowling and fishing seem like perfect “guy time” escapes. Times like those give perfect opportunities for hands-on learning to find a voice and a purpose in life, all while relaxing. Jimmy Allen’s mission in country music isn’t always so chill, but it surely proves that he found his voice.
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