RodeoHouston 2018 Includes Record-Breaking Country Shows [PICTURES]
And that's a wrap for RodeoHouston 2018! Over the past 20 days (Feb. 27-March 18), the annual livestock show and rodeo welcomed a star-studded lineup of artists, both country and otherwise, to its massive, rotating stage.
One of the artists who played RodeoHouston 2018 was Cody Johnson, who made history by becoming the first independent act to sell out a show at NRG Stadium. The Texas country act is a former bull-rider himself, making his performance a bit of a full-circle moment.
"This rodeo is unlike any other in the entire world," Johnson told The Boot before his set. "I mean I am so proud. I am on a bill with Garth Brooks -- that's something that I still haven't let sink in a little bit."
Reaching the RodeoHouston stage was a long time coming for Johnson, who can recall seeing Brooks & Dunn and Reba McEntire in the Hoston Astrodome as a kid. His career progressed from riding bulls to playing shows at various smaller stages around the RodeoHouston property before hitting the big stage.
"If I don't play music, I don't live. I play every show like my life depends on it, and in the rodeo world, [the] bull-riding world, your life does," Johnson says of the parallels between the career of a rider and that of an independent artist. "[Independent artists have to] scrounge, claw and bite your way to where we are now, [and] that's the way rodeo is: lots of miles, lots of broken hearts and broken bones and the door shut in your face. You just have to keep saying, 'No, I am going to keep doing it.'"
In addition to Brooks, Johnson shared the RodeoHouston 2018 bill with Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett, Chris Stapleton and more. Scroll through the photo gallery above to see pictures of Blake Shelton, Kelsea Ballerini, Rascal Flatts, Chris Young, Brad Paisley and of course, Johnson, performing at this year's event.