Cody Johnson Offers A Glimpse Into His 2024 ACM Awards Performance Of ‘Dirt Cheap’: ‘It’s Really Simple’ [Exclusive]

Johnson is looking forward to honoring the powerful story of his current single at the star-studded event.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

May 15, 2024


10:36 am

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Cody Johnson; Photo by Motion Theory Media

When it comes to Cody Johnson’s upcoming performance at the 59th Academy of Country Music Awards, he says he’s keeping it “simple” and letting the story speak for itself. 

The five-time ACM nominee will be taking the stage on Thursday, May 16 to showcase his latest single, “Dirt Cheap,” a song which offers a sentimental display of authenticity and appears on Johnson’s third major label album, Leather.

What To Expect From Johnson’s Performance

Cody Johnson ACM Awards Performer
Cody Johnson ACM Awards Performer

While speaking with Country Now ahead of the show, Johnson explained that when he takes the stage this week, he intends to honor the song’s message with a performance that remains authentic and lacks any unnecessary bells and whistles. 

“It’s really simple,” the Texas native shared. “Dean Dillon told me one time, he said, ‘when you write a perfect song, you should be able to see the same thing in your head every time when you hear it.’ For instance, every time I hear George Strait’s ‘The Chair,’ I see the same thing in my head. Josh Phillips did an incredible job by himself of writing ‘Dirt Cheap’ because every time I sing it, I see those same things in my head.”

He continued, “I thought, we’re just going to sit on some stools. I don’t want dancers, I don’t want confetti bombs, I don’t want smoke and pyro. Let’s just sit here on the stool like Don Williams and Merle Haggard would and just tell you the story.”

YouTube video

Reflecting On The Song’s Relatable Sentiment

Despite the fact that Johnson did not have a hand in writing “Dirt Cheap,” he admits he still feels an incredibly close connection to the lyrics that celebrate themes of family and humbleness.

“I think it’s so relatable too. Myself, I’ve got a 350-acre ranch in Texas that I pour all my time, all my money into, build it up. Not for me, I’m building it up knowing it’s going to go to my daughter’s someday and it’s going to be their kids and their kids’ kids. You don’t have to have that to relate to ‘Dirt Cheap.’ Even though that’s what the story about, I think it touches you even if you live in an apartment in town. The sentiment of it I think is what’s so relatable.”

Cody Johnson - Dirt Cheap
Cody Johnson – Dirt Cheap

Five-Time Nominee

This year, Cody Johnson has nabbed five ACM nominations in the categories of Male Artist of the Year, Album of the Year (Leather), Song of the Year (“The Painter”), Visual Media of the Year (“Human”) and Entertainer of the Year.  

Johnson expressed great pride to be recognized among his peers for the highest honor of the evening.

“Honestly, whoever wins that, whether it’s me or anybody else, everybody is very deserving,”he said honestly. 

How To Watch The 2024 ACM Awards

Reba McEntire will host the ACM Awards for the 17th time in 2024
Reba McEntire; Photo Courtesy the Academy of Country Music

ACM Awards’ star-studded week will wrap up with the 59th Academy of Country Music Awards on Thursday, May 16, at the Ford Center at The Star. 

Hosted by 16-time ACM Award-winning entertainment icon, Reba McEntire, the star-studded event will stream live at 8 p.m. EDT / 7 p.m. CDT / 5 p.m. PDT exclusively on Prime Video. This special occasion allows fans who do not have a Prime membership to still stream the “Party of the Year” for FREE on

limited number of tickets to attend the show are still available for purchase. 

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.