Cody Johnson Reveals He Nearly Quit Music, But His Wife Brandi Inspired Him To Keep Going

“I pretty much owe everything I have to her,” Johnson admitted. “She had all the faith in me.”


Melinda Lorge


Posted on February 19, 2023

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Cody Johnson, Brandi Johnson; Photo Courtesy of ABC/CMA

There’s a saying that goes: Behind every great man is a great woman. And, for Cody Johnson that rings true. The “‘Til You Can’t” singer/songwriter met his wife, Brandi Johnson, years ago, long before he began pursuing a full-fledged career in country music.

After spotting Brandi across a dance floor one night at age 21, Johnson asked for her number. She was 18. The pair fell in love quickly and got engaged one year after meeting each other. They married a year later.

Johnson, a professional bull rider and former Huntsville, TX, prison guard, spent years growing an organic fan-base by performing at every venue he could in the Lone Star state. But he didn’t realize his true potential until his future wife came along.

Cody Johnson and wife Brandi Johnson; Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for CMT
Cody Johnson and wife Brandi Johnson; Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for CMT

Brandi played a significant role in Johnson’s success, often encouraging him to continue nurturing his passions even when he worked a full-time job. She also gave him the courage and green light to quit his day job, so he could fulfill his destiny of becoming a big-time country star.

When it comes to showing his appreciation for Brandi, Johnson doesn’t hold back.

“I pretty much owe everything I have to her. I pray daily, ‘Thank you for this woman.’ She gave me a reason to not be a danger to myself,” the award-winning singer shared about his bride in a recent interview with Cowboys & Indians. “She had all the faith in me. I compensated for my lack of confidence in a lot of bad ways. She recently said, ‘I always knew you would be this man. I knew this man was in that boy.’ What an intuitive woman.”

Johnson, who has always been insistent in staying true to his roots during his rise to fame, opened up about his early struggles with his mindset as a musician before he found his label home with Warner Music Nashville in 2018.

“There have been times over the years where I’ve thought, ‘Why is this not happening? Why have we not gotten the deal?’ But that can put you in a very negative headspace….,” he revealed. “There are times I’ve wanted to quit music, in the last five years even. I came home and said, ‘I’m done. I can’t do this anymore. It’s eating me up.’ And [Brandi] would say, ‘Yes you can. You got to. You’ve got to get back to work, have a better mindset, and push through.’ And I did. If I had to give it all up for her, I’d do it.”

Cody Johnson and Wife Brandi Johnson; Photo Courtesy of Getty Images for CMT
Cody Johnson and Wife Brandi Johnson; Photo Courtesy of Getty Images for CMT

With his wife as his rock, Johnson has gone on to achieve more than he thought he ever could. In 2022, he had the most nominations going into the 2022 American Music Awards. He earned three nominations at the 2022 CMA Awards and won two of them, including Single of the Year and Music Video of the Year for “‘Til You Can’t.” Johnson was also one of five recipients of a 2022 CMT Artist of the Year award, where he lovingly dedicated his trophy to his wife, who he’s been married to for 14 years.

“My wife has stood beside me for over 14 years through the thick and the thin, and babe, this is for me and you,” Johnson declared, at the time.

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And, even though he has a pressing schedule these days, CoJo still prioritizes life with a family-first attitude. He even talks about spending time with his two-daughters, Clara Mae and Cori, who are currently homeschooled while living on a ranch in Central Texas.

“We lead a pretty simple life. We’re homeschooling our two girls. They feed the cows with me and then do their schoolwork. Brandi does the formal schooling. I show them the practical things,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to have good, purebred, white, long-eared, flesh-hanging-off-of-’em Brahman cows. We’ve got an excellent Hereford bull, and this first round of F-1 calves are show quality. I’d like to ultimately add more acreage and raise Wagyu beef for restaurants.”

He continues, “I want my kids to grow up on a ranch where they have to work and see the honesty and integrity of a hard day’s effort, to see the finished product with a show calf that they’ve raised out of our herd. I want to use the good luck we’ve come into to invest in that. They’re not making any more land these days. I’m not interested in Lamborghinis, an apartment in New York, or a beach house. I want to invest in the land and the herd.”

Additionally, Johnson is currently on the road playing dates with Randy Houser. In the fall, he will join Luke Combs as a special guest on his massive world tour. Johnson will pick up slots for Combs’ tour overseas, beginning on Aug. 9 in Parnell, New Zealand, at the Spark Arena.

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