One of the brightest country music stars from Texas, Cody Johnson, provided an early highlight for the Houston Astros' home crowd, singing the national anthem on Wednesday night (Oct. 30) before the deciding game of the World Series.
Prior to establishing himself as a Nashville recording star, Johnson cut his teeth as a Texas country artist based out of Huntsville, which is about 70 miles north of Houston. Johnson grew up an Astros fan, watching Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio--throwers of game seven's ceremonial first pitch-- play ball in the Astrodome.
Taking part as an adult in a World Series game 7 at the Astros' current home, Minute Maid Park, probably seemed unfathomable until Johnson got the call earlier in the postseason. The only thing that would've made Johnson's dream night sweeter would've been an Astros victory. The home team lost the game and the series to the surging Washington Nationals.
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Johnson's chance to perform the national anthem on one of professional sports' grandest stages wasn't his first exposure to competition. After all, he's a former rodeo rider, following the lead of his hero Chris LeDoux by juggling independent album releases on his own CoJo label with athletic pursuits.
Johnson, 32, learned guitar at age 12 and formed the Cody Johnson Band at age 19. After two straight self-released albums cracked the top 10 (2014's Cowboy Like Me and 2016's Gotta Be Me), Warner Music Nashville signed Johnson and released the chart-topping 2019 album Ain't Nothin' to It.