Could Cody Johnson and Jelly Roll be planning to put out a duet? It's a strong possibility, Johnson says — despite the fact that at first glance, the two artists might seem like an unlikely pairing.

"Respect is mutual, and real recognizes real. So absolutely, we've talked about working together," Johnson told press backstage at Nashville's Nissan Stadium before his CMA Fest set on Friday (June 9).

"I can't reveal all the surprises, but there's definitely been some songs that we've sat and listened to, to where they speak to him as much as they speak to me. So you'll see something from us very soon," the singer continues.

Though Johnson knows that he and Jelly seem to some fans like very different artists — Jelly has a background in hip-hop, while Johnson hails from the Texas rodeo scene — he points out that they've got quite a bit in common. As they've gotten to know each other, the two singers have bonded over their difficult pasts, he explains.

"You guys may not look at me and realize this, but I have a pretty jaded past as well. I've always said, like, there was a time in my life where I had to make a decision and that decision was either to chase this dream professionally, with a good mindset," Johnson reflects. "There's a few mistakes that I've made in my life — there's a few decisions I've made in my life where I could have wound up here, or I very well could have wound up in jail."

Jelly has been open about his extensive legal troubles and the time he spent in jail, including for the felony charge that still carries ramifications to this day. Lesser known is Johnson's connection to the prison system: He once worked as a guard in the Texas State Penitentiary System.

"I have a very thick background on incarceration. Jelly did time. We've talked about that," Johnson continues, adding that they also deal with many of the same issues that come along with family life and fame.

"We struggle with a lot of the same pressures of, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be the best husband, to try to be the best father, for our [bands], to try to be the best leader, to be the best's almost like a blessing and a curse, because we put so much on ourselves," the singer goes on to say.

"I relate to him, and he relates to me," Johnson adds. "We're so opposite, you know, you got the cowboy hat and the face tattoos. I think it's just an 'opposites attract' kind of thing."

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