Written by Cody Johnson and Dan Couch (Kip Moore’s “Hey Pretty Girl”), the ballad explores the pull of the American sport, one that’s been romanticized in some of country music’s most iconic songs, from Garth Brooks’ “Rodeo” to George Strait’s “I Can Still Make Cheyenne.” McEntire herself sang about rodeo imagery in her hit collaboration with Brooks & Dunn, “Cowgirls Don’t Cry.”
In “Dear Rodeo,” she provides harmonies with Johnson and returns near song’s end for some lines of her own: “Dear rodeo, I like to think you miss me too, but I know you don’t/that won’t change the past and change the truth/I’m still in love with you.”
“It was a thrill to get to sing ‘Dear Rodeo’ with Cody because we’re both from the rodeo world,” McEntire said in a statement. “I grew up in a rodeo family, I’m a third-generation rodeo brat. So the song means a lot to me because I did leave rodeo to be in the country music business. I sure miss it.”
Adds Johnson: “The story behind ‘Dear Rodeo’ is more a story about life and less about rodeo. I feel like everybody has their own ‘Dear Rodeo’ story and when I found out that Reba was impacted by this song enough to want to do a duet, it was probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever done in my career.”
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