Cody Johnson has teamed up with Reba McEntire for a poignant and stirring duet version of Johnson’s brand new single “Dear Rodeo,” available everywhere now. Written as a very personal tribute to Johnson’s previous career in bull-riding, the reflective song struck a chord with McEntire, who grew up on a family ranch competing in barrel racing.
In an exclusive preview event for industry partners, McEntire and Johnson addressed the importance behind the song and what the rodeo means to them. “It was a thrill to get to sing ‘Dear Rodeo’ with Cody because we’re both from the rodeo world,” explained McEntire. “I grew up in a rodeo family, I’m a third-generation rodeo brat. So the song means a lot to me because I did leave rodeo to be in the country music business. I sure miss it.”
“The story behind ‘Dear Rodeo’ is more a story about life and less about rodeo,” Johnson explained. “I feel like everybody has their own ‘Dear Rodeo’ story and when I found out that Reba was impacted by this song enough to want to do a duet, it was probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever done in my career. Reba adds a certain level of authenticity to this song that makes it so special. I love it when people sing songs about rodeo and cowboys, but there’s a little bit of a different feel when you know that somebody can walk the walk they’re talking.
Neither one of us has a problem saying ‘Hey, this is where I come from, you can check the credentials, we’ve got the scars to prove it.’ I think that the honesty is really going to speak to people, and hopefully we can help people with this song.”
Co-written by Johnson and Dan Couch, “Dear Rodeo” was Top 3 most-added at country radio upon impact and has earned more than 40 million global streams to date.