Cody Johnson is known for his epic love ballads. Fans of his music are familiar with songs like "Never Go Home Again," "Dance Her Home" and "Till You Can't." Johnson's songs always seem to have an extra special touch, probably because he has a beautiful inspiration behind them: his wife.
Throughout the country music star's career, he has openly shared heartwarming details about his family, naming them as muses for several of his songs. Johnson even included his wife, Brandi Johnson, and oldest daughter, Clara Mae, in his music video for "With You I Am."
"For the video, I actually let my beautiful wife Brandi make all those decisions," Johnson told People. "She had a great vision on the look, the feel, the producer, etc. She did a great job!"
So, who is Brandi and how much of a role does she play in her husband's career? Here's everything fans need to know about Johnson's spouse.
2004- 2010: Cody Meets and Marries Brandi
Johnson met his wife Brandi long before he became a successful country music star. In fact, he was a professional bull rider. Both were teenagers at the time. The future couple reconnected four years later at a bar. Johnson got Brandi's phone number that night. Within a year, they were engaged. The couple got married one year later, which would've been around 2010.
Johnson would eventually get a job as a prison guard at the Huntsville Unit Prison, but Brandi encouraged him to quit and focus on his music. While growing a fanbase and a career, Johnson credits Brandi as the one who inspired him to pursue his long journey to becoming a country superstar. Details about their marriage aren't widely known, but Johnson loves sharing photos of her and their two daughters on social media, making it clear they are his priority.
"I just think it's a balance," Johnson told People in 2021. "I've got 6-year-old and 4-year-old little girls, and I'm trying to be not just somebody who's out trying to get rich or famous. I'm trying to be a good leader to influence the people around me. I want to be better. And the things that make me better are working on my ranch and just doing the normal things."
Along the way, Brandi has inspired her spouse's songwriting.
"My favorite lyric in 'The Painter' is 'for every wall I built, she saw a canvas.' If there's anything that describes my marriage with my wife, Brandi, it's that line," he said in a press release (as quoted by CMT). "And that's why we've been together for 15 years."
2015 and 2017: Parenthood
Oldest daughter Clara Mae was born in 2015. Little sister Cori followed two years later.
The singer likes to keep his family close, so much so that he takes them on the road when he goes on tour.
"It's really rough. . .sometimes," Johnson told Taste of Country. "There is just a lot of work on Mom. My wife Brandi really busts her butt to kind of have a little bit of their structured home life mixed in with Dad's meet-and-greet, and Dad's sound check and all of this other stuff."
2018- Present: A Celebrity Family
Johnson signed his first major label record deal in 2018 after years of independent releases and grassroots support.
In 2019, the singer performed at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, where he surprised the crowd by bringing his family on stage. He even revealed that his daughters have picked up some things about performing from watching him on stage.
"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. And I'm going, 'Oh God, I've ruined them," he joked.
Still, Johnson is happy his daughters are finding their voices. He wouldn't mind if they followed in their dad's footsteps by joining the music industry (and neither would fans).
"You know, I didn't graduate college, I didn't have a lot of direction. I truly feel like that was what I was meant to do. So I encourage my girls to do whatever they want to do," he noted. "I don't want them to feel like they have to go into the music business because I've been in it. 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 gonna support them 100 percent."
Johnson is owning his musician title, but it's his dad and husband status that's keeping him grounded as a family man living on his East Texas ranch.
"There are times I've wanted to quit music, in the last five years even. I've come home and said, 'I'm done. I can't do this anymore. It's eating me up,' " he told Cowboys & Indians. "And she'd 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."
Editor's note: This story previously ran on Nov. 9, 2022.
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