Dwayne Johnson Puts A Unique Spin On A Tanya Tucker Classic

Did you know that “The Rock” is a big country music fan?

By

Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

March 9, 2024

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Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson; Photos via X

Dwayne Johnson, also known as “The Rock,” delivered a unique rendition of a Tanya Tucker classic while in Dallas, Texas for WWE Smackdown. 

A Message From The Outlaw People’s Champ

Ahead of the exciting event, which took place on Friday, March 8 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, The Rock delivered a nearly 11-minute message to his social media followers dubbed “A Message From the Outlaw People’s Champ.” This message came hours before The Rock, who participated in a tag team match with Roman Reigns versus Cody Rodges and Seth Rollins during WrestleMania 40.

Sporting a cowboy hat, black jeans, a large belt buckle, and a cut-off shirt that says “The People’s Champ The Rock,” he addressed his opponents for the “biggest Wrestle Mania match of all time.” At the end of his speech, The Rock sang the chorus of Tanya Tucker’s “Texas (When I Die)” with a minor lyric change. 

“When I die I may not go to heaven/ I don’t know if they let outlaws in/ If they don’t just let me go to Texas, boys / ‘Cause Texas is as close as I’ve been,” The Rock sang. 

The original version, released by Tanya Tucker in 1978 goes, When I die I may not go to heaven/ I don’t know if they let cowboys in/ If they don’t just let me go to Texas, boys/ ‘Cause Texas is as close as I’ve been.”

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He’s A Jelly Roll Fan

This isn’t the first time Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has publicly expressed his love for country music. Last summer, he took to social media to share his love for Jelly Roll’s album, WHITSITT CHAPEL, while applauding the genre-bending star for his authenticity and dedication to his career. 

“I’m so f’n proud of my brother Jelly Roll for his latest achievement of his phenomenal new album WHITSITT CHAPEL,” Johnson wrote. ”My guy is blowing up the industry and moving the crowds.”

He continued, “He’s a real authentic artist who brings PASSION & MANA to his music – and he brings a joy and gratitude that can only come from experience and living the life.” 

The Rock; Photo via Instagram, Jelly Roll; Photo by John Shearer
The Rock; Photo via Instagram, Jelly Roll; Photo by John Shearer

The Rock held nothing back when he went on to explain how Jelly Roll’s music previously got him through a tough moment in his life. 

”Many years ago, before [Jelly Roll] blew up, his music helped me get a through a rough patch in my life. I’ll never forget it. Grateful. Proud of you my brother – keep doing it big and keep lifting the people up,” Johnson added. 

Dwayne Johnson Had Aspirations To Become A Country Singer

Some may not realize that Johnson grew up listening to country music and once made his way to Nashville with hopes to pursue a career in the genre. He opened up about that time in his life during an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show. 

“You had country music star-like ambitions, you wanted to be a country singer and I had no idea,” Clarkson said, asking Johnson about his country music dreams.

Dwayne Johnson, Kelly Clarkson; Photo by: Weiss Eubanks/NBCUniversal
Dwayne Johnson, Kelly Clarkson; Photo by: Weiss Eubanks/NBCUniversal

“I did! As wild as that sounds, and you’ll appreciate this obviously cause your love for music and certainly country music too,” Johnson revealed. “I grew up loving blues, hip-hop of course but then country but traditional like that three chords and the truth, steel guitar kind of country.”

He Once Moved To Nashville

Johnson also recalled a time when he was living in Music City and found himself frequenting Lower Broadway honky tonks as well as singing country songs in unexpected places.

“I was at a grocery store and I was shopping and when I say shopping I was doing a little five-finger discount at that time because I couldn’t afford anything and I was in the middle of the row in a shopping aisle and I was belting out this song, not caring who was listening to me,” he explained. “Then, a woman comes around the corner and she sticks her head around the corner, she looks and I stopped singing, she looks at me, her eyes go wide and she’s like ‘wow I did not expect to see someone who looks like you singing that song.’ And I said ‘oh, thank you,’ then we had this chat and she was like ‘so clearly you should go down to Broadway cause that’s where all the country singers are.’” 

He was only 15 at the time and had “no business” being in bar, but would often hang out on Broadway listening to live music. 

While his country music career didn’t exactly pan out, Dwayne Johnson remains a fan and often shows support for country artists online, including Chris Janson.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.