It's not easy to think of Cody Johnson's music career as a Plan B, but it kind of was. The singer was dead-set on becoming a world-famous rodeo competitor before hanging up the saddle and pursuing music. While music was a dream of his, it's not the first one he chased after.

Recognizing that it's not uncommon for people to pursue a dream that never comes true, Johnson offered up encouragement to the audience at CMA Fest during his performance on June 9.

"Let me ask you this, how many people in this stadium tonight have ever had a dream that didn't come true?" he asks the crowd. "I want you to look at me right now — I am living proof that sometimes even though the dream doesn't come true, that a dream will come true."

While standing in front of nearly 50,000 people, the "Til You Can't" singer started his speech by sharing a bit of his testimony and thanked God for the opportunity to stand on that stage.

"In my life I've had the opportunities to chase a lot of dreams, but country music was always the dream that seemed to come back to the forefront for me in my life," he reveals. "And I owe everything I've got tonight to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for giving me the ability to be here tonight."

"I am the most imperfect Christian in this room. I got more problems than you do, I promise you. I will bet on it any day of the week, but that doesn't mean I'm scared to stand up here in front of all y'all tonight and say hey, the glory goes to Him and I'm happy to be here playing country music at CMA Fest tonight," he adds.

A 2020 documentary titled Dear Rodeo details Johnson's decision to leave rodeo and go all in with music. His song of the same name is a love letter to his first dream. "Dear Rodeo" resonated with fellow rodeo lover Reba McEntire so much that he included her on a separate version of the song.

Pictures: 2023 CMA Fest, Days 1-4

See pictures from Day 1 of CMA Fest 2023. The 50th annual CMA Fest in Nashville featured Nissan Stadium performances from Luke Combs, Carly Pearce, Dan + Shay, Tyler Hubbard and more. Plus pictures of Lainey Wilson with Lauren Alaina and Lukas Nelson.

Day 2 features highlights from Tanya Tucker, Lainey Wilson, Cody Johnson, Miranda Lambert, Jelly Roll, Keith Urban and Hardy.

Day 3 includes photo highlights from Tracy Lawrence, Jason Aldean, Little Big Town, Old Dominion, Jon Pardi and Eric Church.

Day 4 featured performances by Josh Turner, Ashley McBryde, Dierks Bentley, Tim McGraw and Luke Bryan. Plus, Alabama received the CMA Pinnacle Award.

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