Cody Johnson Makes a Statement With ‘Old Town Road’ Cover
Cody Johnson probably knew the reaction he'd get when he started to sing Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road," but he did it anyway.
The "On My Way to You" hitmaker and 2019 Taste of Country RISERS star sang the first line of the hit song's chorus during a back-to-school show at Texas A&M University earlier this month, and fan video obtained by Taste of Country shows his audience booing, but not necessarily getting angry with him.
Johnson was making a point about what is and isn't country music, and the multi-song medley that followed let the crowd know where he stands.
"If that's country music I'll line up after this show and I will kiss every last single one of y'all's a--," he says of the CMA-nominated "Old Town Road" from the stage. "I ain't saying it ain't a good song. It's a great song. But it's not country music. Call it what it is, stand for something."
There's No Doubt That This Is Country Music:
Johnson tells Taste of Country that he grew up listening to George Strait, Rodney Crowell, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles and more, so he appreciates all kinds of music. He struggles with the genre-blending happening today and has taken special care to ensure his music can only be called country. The Ain't Nothin' to It album (2019) is as traditional of an album as you'll find, and it has earned tremendous critical acclaim.
"On My Way to You" was his first Top 10 radio hit and "Nothin' on You" is his next single.
This medley came near the end of his set in College Station, Texas. Johnson is tremendously popular in the Lone Star State and is capable of headlining and selling out venues as large as the Houston Rodeo. He's a relative newcomer nationally, despite releasing six albums independently before partnering with Warner Music Nashville. Earlier this week he was nominated for his first CMA Award in the New Artist of the Year category.
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