Jelly Roll & Cody Johnson Surprise Historic Texas Crowd With First-Ever Live Rendition of “Whiskey Bent”

Jelly Roll had a surprise for Texas concert-goers. In front of nearly 74,000 fans—the largest crowd of his music career—Jelly Roll welcomed his good friend and fellow country singer Cody Johnson to the stage.

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“I told you I had a night planned for you, Texas,” Jelly Roll told the crowd. Concert-goers were in for a special performance with both singers.

“Behind the scenes, Cody Johnson has been one of my best friends in country music,” Jelly Roll explained. “Since I came to country music, he has been a mentor. He has been a big brother. He has been my favorite person to talk to at 2 o’clock in the morning.”

Jelly Roll gave audiences some background on their friendship. He says that Johnson has become someone he can talk about anything. He said, “We will talk on the phone about life, God and the beauty of the country music business and how much we both love country music.”

Of course, Jelly Roll didn’t just bring Johnson out on stage to talk about being best buds. The two played a rendition of Johnson’s “Whiskey Bent,” which appears on Johnson’s album Leather. It’s the first time that the song has been played live, and fans loved the rendition.

Cody Johnson Talks Friendship with Jelly Roll

Previously, Johnson opened up about his friendship with Jelly Roll. He said the two share a good amount of respect for each other.

“Respect is mutual, and real recognizes real. So absolutely, we’ve talked about working together,” he shared via CMT.

He said that they both shared a similar background in that both could have ended up going down a bad path.

“You guys may not look at me and realize this, but I have a pretty jaded past as well,” Johnson said. “I’ve always said 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. 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.”

“I have a very thick background on incarceration,” he continued. “Jelly did time. We’ve talked about that. We struggle with a lot of the same pressures. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be the best husband, to try to be the best father, to try to be the best leader, to be the best performer…it’s almost like a blessing and a curse because we put so much on ourselves.”

[Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images]

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