Less than six hours after the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo announced that Wednesday night’s scheduled performer, Old Dominion, had been forced to drop out because of a death in a band member’s family, the rodeo announced that Cody Johnson, the Huntsville-based former bull rider, will take over the group’s March 8 spot. This will be his first performance on the RodeoHouston big stage.
Much like Aaron Watson, who kicks off the rodeo’s three-week season Tuesday night, Johnson is a traditionally minded, seasoned veteran of the Texas country circuit whose success beyond that relatively insular scene has raised many an eyebrow within the country-music establishment at large. Several months before Watson’s independently released album The Underdog debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart, Johnson reached the Top 10 with his album Cowboy Like Me. He has since followed up with 2016's Gotta Be Me.
“Cody Johnson will be a great addition to our 2017 RodeoHouston lineup,” Joel Cowley, rodeo president and CEO, said. “We welcome this talented Texas singer to our stage as we honor the men and women of our military on Armed Forces Appreciation Day.”
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Earlier today, KTRK Channel 13 conducted a Twitter poll to determine its audience’s choice for a suitable replacement; notwithstanding the George Strait and Miranda Lambert options, it turns out the people who chose Johnson and “someone local” were both right.
Refund information for Old Dominion ticketholders is available at rodeohouston.com/updates. Johnson will return to the area to perform at the City of La Porte’s 125th birthday party on May 12.