After years of grinding away at a music career, Cody Johnson has finally found mainstream success, and his wife, Brandi Johnson, has been by his side throughout the entire journey.
Cody tried out careers as a bull rider and a prison guard before committing to music full-time. It wasn’t until 2018 that he finally signed a major record label deal, and it was with Brandi’s encouragement.
“There have been times over the years where I’ve thought, ‘Why is this not happening, why have we not gotten the deal?'” Cody recalled in an interview with Cowboys & Indians. “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.”
Now, Cody is an award-winning and chart-topping country music artist. Learn more about Cody and Brandi’s relationship below.
How Did Cody Johnson Meet His Wife?
Before Brandi and Cody officially met, she saw him performing onstage at an event for Future Farmers of America in Texas. She was just 14 years old at the time. Four years later, Cody and Brandi were both at the same bar and crossed paths on the dance floor. At the time, he was 21 and she was 18. He asked for her phone number, and the rest of their relationship was on the fast track. One month after meeting, they moved in together, and they got engaged after just a year of knowing each other. Their wedding took place one year after the engagement.
“When I met her, I was a pretty crazy young guy and she’s helped me grow,” Cody admitted. “She’s helped me become a man that I’m proud to be. She holds down the house and she holds down the whole fort. From little simple things like my clothes going to the cleaners and coming back and being ready for the road — just little stuff and every little tiny thing she does is so big for me. She gives me the courage to keep going.”
Now that Cody is living out his dream, Brandi remains his muse, and has even helped out with some big decisions in his career! In 2018, Cody dropped the music video for his song “On My Way To You,” and opened up about how Brandi helped inspire the music video.
“I actually let my beautiful wife Brandi make all those decisions,” he told PEOPLE. “She had a great vision on the look, the feel, the producer, etc. She did a great job!”
Does Cody Johnson Have Kids?
Cody and Brandi are the proud parents of two daughters, Clara Mae and Cori, who were born in 2015 and 2017, respectively. The girls are homeschooled, with Brandi doing the “formal schooling,” according to Cody’s Cowboys & Indians interview. In a 2018 interview with PEOPLE, Cody shared that Brandi and the girls are often on tour with him, which exposed them to a much different lifestyle at a young age.
“They watch daddy play and they get in the living room in their little bouncy house and get their microphones and play their little guitars and scream at the top of their lungs, ‘Daddy, I’m like you!'” he shared. “And I’m going, ‘Oh God, I’ve ruined them!'”
While the girls are still young, Cody said that he and Brandi are encouraging them to do “whatever they want to do” in life.
“I don’t want them to feel like they have to go into the music business because I’ve been in it,” he explained. “I want them to be able to chase their dreams with the same amount of passion that I’ve chased mine. Whatever that may be, I’m going to support them 100 percent.”
When it comes to his kids, Cody said that he places value on the time he gets to spend with them away from the music industry. “Whether my girls remember any of my accolades is not important to me,” Cody admitted. “I want them to remember a man who put them before anything, who performed three shows and flew home to ensure that they went deer hunting.”
Where Does Cody Johnson’s Family Live?
Cody and his family live in East Texas. When he’s not out on the road, Cody focuses on his wife, kids, ranch, and competitive team roping. Their life on the ranch is surrounded by animals, as well.
“[The girls] feed the cows with me and then do their schoolwork,” Cody dished. “I show them the practical things. I’ve always wanted to have a 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.”
The decision to raise his family on a ranch was thought out, as Cody wanted his daughters to “have to work and see the honesty and integrity of a hard day’s effort.”
He continued, “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.”
Cody & Brandi Were Almost In A Plane Crash
In 2021, Cody and Brandi were flying on a private plane to a NASCAR event when the pilot told them they were “going down,” the singer revealed in an interview with Taste of Country. He recalled the plane’s altitude dipping from 39,000 feet to 15,000 feet, with alarms sounding around them.
“I really sat there for about 30 minutes as the plane was going down with my wife, like, ‘This is it. I love you,'” Cody shared. “I’m thinking about things I regret. I’m thinking about things I could’ve done. All those opportunities that I didn’t seize. Even my wife … why don’t I do these things?”
He said it was a “pretty rough deal” and “the closest near-death experience” that he’d had since his bull riding days. The plane crash gave meaning to Cody’s hit single “‘Til You Can’t,” which ended up becoming a No. 1 song on the country charts.