Jimmie Allen served as a mentor on Season 20’s American Idol on Sunday (April 10) night. Along with helping the Top 24 contestants perfect their vocals on song selections, he also took the stage to deliver a special performance of one of his most personal songs to date.

Launching into his emotional new single, “Down Home,” in front of his own peers, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, Allen had the audience swaying from side to side.

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Armed with his guitar and dressed in his signature cowboy hat, shades and red bandana, Allen rendered the lyrics that he wrote with Cameron Bedell, Rian Ball and Tate Howell as a tribute to his late father, James “Big Jim” Allen.

And meanwhile, down home / Oh, you know mama's still cooking / Them down home grits / I promise I'm working / With this guitar 'bout as hard as I can / I met a girl, bought a house / Put a nice little payment, down home / Is still there where my heart is / This down home kid, is just how you left him / I still hate that you're gone, I wish you were here / But I hope I'm making you proud / 'Cause I know you're up there looking down home,” Allen sang the chorus of the tune from the stage outside the Disney Aulani, Resort & Spa in Hawaii.

After his performance of “Down Home,” Allen stood beside Ryan Seacrest to talk more about the song and the relationship he shared with his dad.

“My dad raised me on country music, and this is the first song I’ve been able to write about him,” he told Seacrest. “My father died in 2019. We were on a Rascal Flatts tour. I’d hope he’d be proud of me. My siblings and I, we miss him.”

“Down Home” is the lead single from Allen’s upcoming album, Tulip Drive, slated for release on June 24. In the meantime, fans can find Allen on the road performing shows as part of his headlining Down Home Tour. The trek currently runs through Aug. 13.

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