Cody Johnson Hits No. 1 With ‘The Painter,’ Drops ‘Dirt Cheap’ As New Single

Cody Johnson has another No. 1 hit on his hands. The Texan is at the top of the charts with “The Painter.” The song, written by Benjy Davis, Kat Higgins, and Ryan Larkins, is the first single from his Leather album, released last November.

Johnson praised radio on social media for the song’s success.

Johnson didn’t write “The Painter,” but it felt as personal to him as if he had written it himself, honoring his wife, Brandi, who appeared in the video for “The Painter”.

“There’s always been start agains,’ Johnson reflects to Apple Music Country’s Today’s Country Radio with Kelleigh Bannen. “In my music career, you get to the point where you’re like, ‘I don’t know if I can do this anymore. I’ve been traveling up and down the roads making $100 a night in a van and can’t afford to put gas in it.’ And she’s going, ‘Yes, you can. You left your steady job for a reason and yes, you can do it.’ And so it’s like you start again.”

The father of two is back at radio with “Dirt Cheap,” also from Leather.

“That’s one of my favorites,” Johnson told Yahoo. “The first time I heard it I cried because I’m a cattle rancher. I breed roping horses and we work on a ranch in Texas and it is a lot. I’ve made a joke ever since we bought this ranch. I told my wife, ‘I hope you love this house because I’m never moving. I’ve already got the oak tree picked out where I’m going to be buried.’

“Being on that cattle ranch and having those places you hold dearly, to have the memories of your kids and your horses and dogs and your wife, that’s a big deal,” he continued. “So I really related to that song. I took that song to the first five toughest guys I know and played it for them, and they all cried, so I said, “Well we’ve got a winner here.”

Johnson plans on releasing the second part of Leather later this year, which likely will include his collaboration with Carrie Underwood.

“It’s on the deluxe edition,” Johnson shared with Everything Nash, during a recent virtual media event. “The issue is, when you’re dealing with an artist of that caliber; you have to be very respectful of their time. You have to be respectful of their tour when they’re releasing an album when they’re releasing a single.”

Johnson hasn’t said much about the extended version of Leather, other than his duet with Underwood, but it will definitely be very, very country.

“Throughout my career, I haven’t let what the format was putting on the radio cloud my vision for the genre,” Johnson tells The Tennessean. “Now that I have a chance to guide the direction of country music’s mainstream future, there will be cowboy hats, value-driven story songs and the inspirations of Brooks & DunnGarth Brooks, Merle Haggard, George Jones and Reba McEntire involved.”

Johnson is currently headlining his own The Leather Tour. Find all of his music and upcoming shows at