Jimmie Allen is thinking of two special people ahead of his first ACM Awards performance: his late father and grandmother.
Chatting with PeopleTV's Jeremy Parsons on the ACMs red carpet, the singer says he's stoked to hit the stage for the first time.
"Well, it's my first time performing," the singer, 34, tells PEOPLE exclusively. "Definitely wish my grandmother and my father could have been here to see it. But it means a lot, man. It's just a testament to people believing in you. Hard work and never giving up on yourself."
Allen is set to hit the stage at The Bluebird Café with "a song I wrote with 2 friends," "Make Me Want To."
The "This Is Us" singer's first ACM performance comes just days before the one-year anniversary of his father's death. Last year, he shared a loving tribute on Instagram following his death.
"Saying goodbye to my daddy is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do," he wrote. "As you get older you sometimes think about losing your parents but nothing to prepares you for it when it actually happens."
"I’m gonna miss The man that raised me on country music and who I give credit for my career today, The man that taught me the meaning of hard work," he continued.
Check out PEOPLE's full ACM Awards coverage to get the latest news on one of country music's biggest nights.
On the ACMs red carpet, the country star also talks about spending the summer out fishing and with his daughter Naomi Bette.
"It's been good, man," he says of fishing. "I'm actually leaving in three days to go deep-sea fishing in Delaware. It's been good, man. It's the first time in years I've had a chance to do this much fishing so I'm all about it."
"She's good. She's six months now," he says of his daughter. "She's getting big. Still crying at night, but she'll get through it — or we'll get through it!"
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Allen also reveals that he's working a "movie on my life" with director Brandon Camp, who led the Aaron Eckhart and Jennifer Aniston film Love Happens. He also says there's one thing he's looking forward to once the coronavirus pandemic subsides: "Just getting back on the road full time."
"Couple TV shows in the work right now," he adds. "Things in the works right now. Just trying to stay busy, create more music, expand the brand."
Ahead of the ACMs, Allen shared a series of throwback photos of himself at last year's red carpet.
"Great moments have been had @acmawards which have created life long memories," he wrote on Instagram. "Things will be a little different this year but it will still be an epic time. Looking forward to performing on the ACM Awards this year. ♠️"
The 2020 ACM Awards are airing live from Nashville at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
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