Cody Johnson kicked off 2019 landing the No. 1 Country album in country music when Ain't Nothin' To It debuted in January. The Texas native moved 34,500 total units, including 23,000 copies in pure album sales his first week.

That along with 12 million songs streams took Johnson to No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart, and landed him No. 1 on the all-genre Digital Album Sales chart -- this means he sold more complete-album downloads than any other act. Additionally, Johnson landed at No. 2 on the all-genre Album Sales Chart.

Then Cody Johnson played in front of over 73,000 people inside NRG Stadium for Rodeo Houston. The East Texas native headlined the Friday night show, sandwiched between Chris Stapleton on Thursday, and Brad Paisley on Saturday. He played just two nights before George Strait.

The new Brooks & Dunn album, Reboot, which was out in April, contains a re-imagining of their hit "Red Dirt Road" as a duet featuring Johnson.

In August New England got a big ol' helping of The CoJo Nation as George Strait, Blake Shelton, Cody Johnson, and Caitlyn Smith played at the home of the New England Patriots, Gillette Stadium.

This month he was up for New Artist of the Year at the CMAs, alongside Midland, Morgan Wallen, Carly Pearce, and Ashley McBryde. McBryde, deservedly, ultimately took home the award.

We share all of that to say, everyone has got to start somewhere. Check out this video of a 2011 Johnson singing inside a sparsely filled bar in Katy, Texas. He is absolutely belting his future hit "Pray for Rain" to, for all intents and purposes, a bunch of bar stools -- and with a little help from James Lann.

Shout out to YouTuber Doug Johnson for this one.

More From Radio Texas Live