Brad Paisley Surprised Jimmie Allen During His 2021 ACM Performance

By Hayden Brooks

April 19, 2021

Jimmie Allen scored New Male Artist of the Year at the 2021 ACM Awards on Sunday night (April 18), but that wasn't the only big moment for the newcomer during the ceremony.

Halfway through the show, which was hosted by Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton, Allen appeared for his remote performance of his latest single, "Freedom Was a Highway," from Nashville's Bluebird Cafe. Yet, little did he know his song collaborator Brad Paisley was going to join him for the three-minute cut at the venue's mini-stage. "My duet partner Jimmie Allen ... is about to sing our new duet 'Freedom Was A Highway,' but he thinks I'm out of town," Paisley told the camera with a smile. "So I have driven up here and I'm gonna surprise him and go in and just start singing."

Right after the hook, Paisley entered the venue from the side to Allen's surprise, before they both jumped in on the chorus. "When the town was the whole world/ And love was the girl next door/ Soundtrack was a song in the dark/ I miss those days when our dreams/ Were there for chasin'," the two crooned.

"Freedom Was a Highway" appears on Allen's EP, Bettie James, which features additional guest stars, including Nelly ("Good Times Roll"), Mickey Guyton ("Drink & I Miss You") and more.

Expect more from Allen and Paisley when they perform with each other on Tuesday's episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Photo: Getty Images

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