Country music powerhouse Cody Johnson made history on Monday (Feb. 28), as he became the third ever artist to sell out the opening night of the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show. The last hitmakers to kick off the legendary event without an open seat in sight, were Garth Brooks (2018) and George Strait (2017).
After the Coronavirus pandemic forced the world-renowned Rodeo to take an unexpected hiatus, music enthusiasts and spectators alike were eager to get their hands on tickets to experience the triumphant return back to NRG Stadium.
Approximately 70,554 fans attended Johnson’s high-energy show to help kick off and celebrate the 90th anniversary season. While sporting a sleek black cowboy hat – the artist opened his set with electrifying track, “Dear Rodeo.”
The singer-songwriter also delivered fan-favorites such as “Honky Tonk Hardwood Floors,” “Dance Her Home,” throwback “With You I Am,” “Nothin’ On You,” smash single “'Til You Can’t,” and even shared his own rendition of Charlie Daniels Band’s hit “Long Haired Country Boy.” With rowdy concert-goers at his fingertips – he dedicated his first radio anthem “On My Way To You,” to devoted fans who have been a part of his community since day one.
“What better way to open the 2022 RODEOHOUSTON and kick off the 90th anniversary of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo than with Cody Johnson,” shared Chris Boleman, president and CEO of the Rodeo. “Cody has quickly become a RODEOHOUSTON fan favorite, ever since he first stepped onto the RODEOHOUSTON stage in 2017. His 2022 opening night performance puts him in great company with George Strait and Garth Brooks,” he concluded.
The Texas native was first presented with the opportunity to perform at the prestigious affair back in 2017, when he had to fill in last-minute for Old Dominion. Johnson’s recent performance marks his fourth appearance on the grand stage, but his initial experience at the rodeo tracks back to when he was just a Southern kid from Sebastopol, Texas.
Before Johnson transitioned into a country music artist, he worked the rodeo circuit as a bull rider. The sport remains prominent in the Johnson household, as his daughter picked up the pastime and competed in the mutton bustin’ event ahead of his show-stopping set on Monday.
The platinum artist also served as the Grand Marshal for the Downtown Rodeo Parade on Saturday (Feb. 26). The annual procession that began in 1938 celebrates Western heritage and serves as the official kick-off to the Rodeo season.
On the heels of his chart-topping hit “Til You Can’t” and his RODEOHOUSTON appearance – the award-winning artist, is set to be inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall Of Fame on Thursday, March 3, at Billy Bob’s Texas in the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District.
“Getting the opportunity to be honored by the Texas Cowboy Hall Of Fame…it’s a huge honor. I think it would be an honor for anybody, to be honored by them, but whenever you actually live the cowboy life and Texas Cowboy Hall Of Fame says they want to give you an award, it’s like you start examining yourself like, ‘Whoa, what did I do to get this?’ you know?” Johnson told Dakota Radio Group News. “But, at the same time it’s so dang cool because 8-year-old little Cody that just wanted to be a bull rider would have never believed that this was happening so I’m pretty thankful,” he concluded.
Cody Johnson is not the only country hitmaker performing at the 2022 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Notable names such as Keith Urban, Sam Hunt, Dierks Bentley, Chris Stapleton, Gwen Stefani, Kane Brown, Jon Pardi, and more are expected to stop by the fun-filled festival until March 20, 2022. Tickets are currently available for purchase.