The 2019 BET Awards are set to take place on June 23, and rising country star Jimmie Allen has one simple request for the television network: find a way to honor the black artists who call country music home.

“I feel like, at the BET Awards, there should be a country music category,” Allen tells Taste of Country during a recent interview following a show in Chicago opening for Rascal Flatts. “Whoever is in charge of BET programming, they paint this picture where they basically try to put us in a box, like black people only listen to hip-hop or R&B. Well that's not true, because country came from blues.”

Allen first made his feelings known regarding BET via Twitter on May 14, when he noted that the television network won’t play his music videos. Soon after his tweet, Allen received support from Wyclef Jean, who recently went to the studio with Allen for an upcoming collaboration.

“BET stands for Black Entertainment Television,” says the 2019 Taste of Country RISER. “So, it's not genre-specified. It's about being black. So there should be a place for me. First, BET needs to honor Charley Pride before he dies. They have to (honor) Charley Pride, Mickey Guyton, Kane Brown, Darius Rucker, Aaron Vance and a girl named Tiera.”

While it might be easier for the Delaware native to simply remain quiet about the matter, he says he was raised better than that. "Many things just need to be said,” he says. “My dad always said that a closed mouth will get you nowhere.”

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