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Western Idaho Fair cancels grandstand concert after rape lawsuit against country singer

Embattled country singer Jimmie Allen has been dropped from the grandstand concert lineup at the Western Idaho Fair.

Known for hit singles “Best Shot” and “Make Me Want To,” Allen, 37, is being sued by his former manager for alleged sexual battery, assault, false imprisonment and other charges detailed in a May 11 Variety expose. The woman still works in the music industry and has asked to remain anonymous.

Western Idaho Fair spokesperson Becki Woodbury acknowledged that the cancellation was tied to the case. “Jimmie Allen was suspended by his agency and label for some legal issues that are pending,” she said in an email. “We decided it was in our best interest to do the same.”

The fair communicated the decision by marking the event’s Facebook page as canceled and posting a terse statement June 1: “Jimmie Allen will not be attending the 2023 Western Idaho Fair.”

Lineup tweaks

Allen’s disappearance isn’t the only tweak to the grandstand schedule. Fair officials subsequently moved rapper T.I.’s planned show Monday, Aug. 21, into Allen’s former slot on Wednesday, Aug. 23.

That leaves Monday empty and only four grandstand shows, rather than five. Smash Mouth and Spin Doctors are slated for Tuesday, Aug. 22; Bush is set for Thursday, Aug. 24; and Justin Moore will headline Friday, Aug. 25.

Before it went to a five-night concert schedule in recent years, the Western Idaho Fair offered only a four-evening lineup — Tuesday through Friday.

There is still hope for five nights in 2023, Woodbury said.

“We decided to move T.I. so that we could keep that structure of Tuesday through Friday in place while we work on potential options for our Monday programming,” Woodbury explained.

“… We are working on a potential plan for our Monday.”

Country singer-songwriter Jimmie Allen performs in Sacramento this past March as the opening act on Carrie Underwood’s Denim & Rhinestones Tour.

Fallout for Allen

The Los Angeles Times reported that Allen’s former manager “claims that while employed by Allen’s management company Wide Open Music, the country musician raped her, regularly sexually abused her and harassed her for a year and a half.”

Allen has denied the accusations, but fallout quickly followed. His label, BBR Music Group, suspended “all activity with him,” according to the newspaper. The LA Times also reported that the Country Music Association pulled him from the lineup of CMAFest, which happens Sunday in Nashville. In 2021, Allen was the CMA Awards New Artist of the Year, as well as the ACM Awards New Male Artist of the Year.

On Allen’s website, no tour dates are listed.

A week after news of the lawsuit broke, the singer published an apology to his estranged wife on Instagram. In April, the couple had announced that they were separated. She is pregnant with their third child.

“I want to publicly apologize to my wife Alexis for humiliating her with my affair,” he wrote May 18. “I’m embarrassed that my choices have brought shame on her. That’s something that she did not deserve at all.”

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