Cody Johnson’s performing a Willie Nelson classic at the ACMs

Nathan Congleton/NBC

Texas native Cody Johnson is set to perform at the 2023 ACM Awards, which is held in his home state this year.

The song he’s been tasked with by the ACM, however, is not his monster hit “‘Til You Can’t,” which received three ACM nominations, or his current single “Human,” which just entered the top 10 on the country charts. 

“[When] they asked me to perform, obviously, I was like, ‘Is it “‘Til You Can’t” or “Human”?'” Cody recalls to ABC Audio. “They’re like, ‘No, it’s Willie Nelson‘s 90th birthday. We want you to do a Willie Nelson song.’ So, what better song for the cowboy from Texas than ‘Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys’?”

As Cody notes, “If there’s one guy in country music that is actually a cowboy and can sing that song,” it’s him. 

The 58th Academy of Country Music Awards, hosted by Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks, streams live on Prime Video Thursday, May 11, at 7 p.m. ET.

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