LISTEN: Cody Johnson’s ‘The Painter’ Celebrates His Love And Appreciation For His Wife, Brandi

“The Painter” is the lead single from Johnson’s forthcoming new album.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

August 11, 2023


11:30 am

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Cody Johnson and Brandi Johnson; Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for CMT

Cody Johnson just dropped his highly anticipated new song titled, “The Painter,” which serves as a heartfelt love letter to his wife, Brandi.

Co-written by Benjy Davis, Kat Higgins and Ryan Larkins and produced by Trent Willmon, “The Painter” pays tribute to the person who always sees an opportunity to grow, lend their support, and overall, bring brightness and color into the darker days. Although Johnson didn’t have a hand in writing the swoon-worthy tune, he made it clear that he was able to easily relate the tender lyrics to the kindhearted spirit of his other half. 

“I don’t remember / life before she came into the picture / Brought the beauty I was missin’ with her / Showed me colors I ain’t ever seen / She took chances / With every wall I built she saw a canvas / I thank god every day for how he made her / My life was black and white but she’s the painter,” Johnson sings on the chorus. 

Ahead of the release, the country star took a trip down memory lane to display the new tune using a slideshow of photos highlighting special moments with him and Brandi. The clip shared to social media begins with a series of black and white photos until it transitions into a brightly-colored image of his family of four as the last line of the poetic chorus hits. 

The “’Til You Can’t” singer and Brandi first met when he was in the midst of figuring out his career path. At the time, he was recovering from a bull riding accident and working as a chain gang overseer in a prison, while also recording his music in his garage and performing at small gigs on the side.

They later solidified their relationship by moving in together and saying, “I Do.” Eventually, Brandi encouraged Johnson to quit his job at the prison and make music his top priority. To further show her support, she quit college and picked up two jobs. Thanks to her motivation and encouragement, Cody Johnson is now a CMA award-winner, a chart-topping artist, and a true representation of authentic country music. 

“My favorite lyric in ‘The Painter’ is ‘for every wall I built, she saw a canvas.’ If there’s anything that describes my marriage with my wife, Brandi, it’s that line,” Johnson shared via press release. “And that’s why we’ve been together for 15 years.”

Brandi Johnson and Cody Johnson attend the 2023 CMT Music Awards at Moody Center on April 02, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CMT)
Brandi Johnson and Cody Johnson attend the 2023 CMT Music Awards at Moody Center on April 02, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CMT)

This new song further proves his commitment to his family and encourages others to never take their time spent with loved ones for granted. 

“I hope my fans are encouraged to take the time to appreciate the people they have around them. The ones who make their life beautiful and bring all the beautiful colors to their world when it could just be black and white and dark. Remember them and tell them you love them,” he added. 


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“The Painter,” which is slated to impact country radio on August 14, also serves as the first single off Cody Johnson’s forthcoming album, Leather, due out later this year.

During a recent interview with Justin McKee, host of the Cowboy Channel, the country superstar explained that putting this next deluxe album together was “a long process” due to its large, 24-song track list.

“Having new music out is fun,” he shared. “It’s like, I’ve worked for a year and a half and I didn’t really tell anybody. Just going into the studio kinda secretly and recording my butt off.” 

While further discussing his next set of music with Audacy’s KMLE Country 107.9,  the Texas native beamed with pride as he went on to tack high expectations onto the forthcoming project. 

“This round of 24 songs I have to say is the best round of songs I have ever recorded, and I feel like that’s the way it should be,” he continued “Each album should outdo the last one.”

Leather will serve as Johnson’s second consecutive double album, following his October 2021 project, Human, which featured a total of 18 tracks including the chart-topping hit “‘Til You Can’t” and his latest single, “Human.”

“There’s some fun stuff,” he added. “I think the theme of this new album is fun. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a ballad or whether it’s tongue-in-cheek kinda fun. It all has to be fun, it all has to make you kind of want to move around and bob your head a little bit.”

Duet With Carrie Underwood

Johnson also previously confirmed that fans can expect has recorded a duet with fellow country star, Carrie Underwood. 

Cody Johnson; Getty Images for iHeartRadio, Carrie Underwood; Photo by Jeff Johnson
Cody Johnson; Getty Images for iHeartRadio, Carrie Underwood; Photo by Jeff Johnson

In addition to this project, the Texas native revealed that he has a concept album called The Cowboy Sessions that’s also been brewing behind the scenes. As he explained to Spencer Graves, this project will be something completely different for him as it will be entirely made up of covers that were originally released by country music greats like Marty Robbins, Willie Nelson, Chris LeDoux, George Strait, Tom T. Russell, and more. 

“Doing a concept album called ‘The Cowboy Sessions,’ and it’s nothing but old cowboy songs, like Marty Robbins, Willie Nelson, so the entire record is just covers,” he explained. 

Cody Johnson isn’t stopping there because as it turns out, he’s got plenty more ideas for how he can branch out and explore his creativity in his future collections.  

“In my future, I think a bluegrass album, I think a gospel album…[it’d be] really fun one time to just record a full-blown rock album…”

He explained that while making his Leather album, he noticed he had recorded a few gospel songs as well as some tracks that were included solely so that he could play them in his live shows. 

“That’s because I wanted to,” Johnson continued. “That’s because it’s so country I wanted to, that’s because it’s so country nobody else would cut it. These songs right here we’d probably put on the radio. Because that’s what we’re here to do is make country music. And I think that’s what’s gonna separate us from a lot of people.”

Cody Johnson; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Cody Johnson; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

As fans anxiously await his next project, Cody Johnson continues to maintain his busy schedule on the road, playing his music to audiences all across the U.S. 

Since wrapping up his time on for road for his Cody Johnson & Friends Tour, Johnson has joined Luke Combs for the international leg of his massive 2023 World Tour. This new trek launched on August 9 and includes dates in Australia and New Zealand. 

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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.