Cody Johnson Wins CMT Performance of the Year at 2023 CMT Music Awards
Cody Johnson took home the trophy for CMT Performance of the Year at the 2023 CMT Music Awards on Sunday (April 2).
When he took the stage to claim his trophy, which he earned for his performance of "'Til You Can't" from the 2022 CMT Music Awards, Johnson seemed genuinely flabbergasted by the win, admitting that he hadn't prepared any notes for his acceptance speech. However, he did tip his hat to his home state of Texas -- which was, for the first time, the home of the CMT Music Awards in 2023.
Johnson acknowledged his team and his band -- "The Rockin' CJB have worked their tail off for this," he noted -- but he kept the focus on what makes a live performance truly great: Fan enjoyment.
"I would like everybody, all at once, [to tell me,] are you having fun at the CMT Awards? Make some noise!" the singer said. "That is what a performance is about, and that's what my performance will stay about, is your pleasure. Thank you. God bless you."
Johnson beat nine other nominees in the category. The other contenders were Black Pumas & Mickey Guyton's "Colors" (from 2022 CMT Music Awards), Chris Stapleton's "Whenever You Come Around" (from CMT Giants: Vince Gill), Cole Swindell & Lainey Wilson's "Never Say Never" (from 2022 CMT Music Awards), Darius Rucker's "Let Her Cry" (from CMT Storytellers), Emmy Russell & Lukas Nelson's "Lay Me Down" (from Coal Miner's Daughter: A Celebration of the Life & Music of Loretta Lynn), Keith Urban's "Wild Hearts" (from 2022 CMT Music Awards), LeAnn Rimes with Ashley McBryde & Carly Pearce's "One Way Ticket" (from CMT Crossroads: LeAnn Rimes & Friends), The Judds, "Love Can Build a Bridge" (from 2022 CMT Music Awards) and Wynonna Judd & Brandi Carlile's "The Rose" (from Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration).
Johnson's performance of his breakout hit"' Til You Can't" from the 2022 CMT Music Awards was not one that's easily forgotten. The Texas native performed from the outdoor stage situated in the center of Broadway in Downtown Nashville. With the neon lights from the Broadway bars and fog surrounding him, Johnson dove into the inspiring song with conviction, singing every word with purpose. The performance only gained momentum as it continued, and it ended with a last powerful note from the singer.
"'Til You Can't" was released in October 2021 as the lead single from Johnson's Human: The Double Album and it became his first-ever No. 1 on Country radio.