A rising country singer-songwriter, who made waves on The Voice in 2022, is readying his brand new album, which is an ode to his homeland: the state of Iowa.

His name is Jay Allen, and he's a native to Cedar Falls. He left the state of Iowa when he was 21-years-old on a whim. It was his then-wife who encouraged him to leave Des Moines in pursuit of Nashville for his music career. In lieu of his new album's release, The Des Moines Register did a story on his turbulent but inspiring story.

Allen went on to spend a few years in Georgia, traveling across the South as a music director at church before coming back to Iowa. Then, 11 years ago, he listened to his wife and went out to Nashville, securing a publishing deal shortly after.

He dropped the song "Blank Stares," a tribute to his mother who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. The heartbreaking ballad has gone on to garner more than 500 million views on Facebook, per The Des Moines Register.

At 38-years-old, Allen completed his first headline tour called the "Night of Hope Tour." In addition to reaching a larger audience with his music, Allen was able to spread more awareness about Alzheimer's. Now, he's readying his new album, Des Moines, which will be released on June 28th, which would've been his mother's 60th birthday. She passed away in 2019.

Also, his cover of Cody Johnson's "Til You Can't," which he performed on The Voice, is absolutely beautiful. Plus it takes on a greater meaning when you learn how personal of a place from which it comes.

Allen revealed in a phone interview that it was in Des Moines where he "got brave" and decided to take a chance on his music career. Allen also performed at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, IA this month (a beautiful venue, I'll add). He'll be performing in Iowa once again on August 9th at Watermelon Days in Dike, where he graduated high school.

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Not only is he a local boy, but Jay Allen honoring Iowa in a big way is heartwarming to say the least. Learn more about the local boy on his official website, and read the full interview on The Des Moines Register's website.

The Buddy Holly Crash-Site and Legendary Surf Ballroom

Views from the Buddy Holly Crash-Site and the legendary venue known as the Surf Ballroom, both located in Clear Lake, IA

Gallery Credit: Steve Pulaski

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