Last night, the 56th Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards was nothing short of a monumental affair for Black artists. With Black Like Me singer Mickey Guyton hosting alongside Keith Urban as the first Black woman ever to host the show, Black country stars also took centerstage with groundbreaking wins.
Jimmie Allen took home a historic win for New Male Artist of the Year as the first Black artist to win within the category. For the 34-year-old artist, his first ACM win ever is a semblance of representation — especially for young country fans witnessing the burgeoning diversity in the industry.
“Growing up listening to country music, I loved it. It’s all my dad listened to,” Allen says in an interview with People. “My dad was like, ‘Well, you should be a country singer,’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, nah, they’re all white. I don’t know if they let people like me even sing country music.'”
Kane Brown also won his first ACM Award in the Video of the Year category for “Worldwide Beautiful,” a heart-rending production of the track that centers equality and justice, as the first Black solo artist to win in the category. Brown took to Twitter to extend his gratitude after learning of his win on April 14 during his interview with CBS This Morning.
“I wrote this song with three of my buddies out of Nashville. We were just like, ‘You know, it would be a great day when everybody could just see the beautiful in the world… we’re all a little different, but we’re all just different types of beautiful,” Brown said in his interview with CBS This Morning.