RodeoHouston is finally coming back and CultureMap is guessing who will be performing.
The entertainment centerpiece to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo season announced which music genres will be featured throughout the 2022 season on Thursday. It will mark nearly two years after COVID-19 forced officials to cancel half the 2020 event and cancel the 2021 event altogether.
Thankfully, the biggest annual music gathering in Texas will make its much-anticipated return on Monday, February 28 with East Texas native Cody Johnson previously announced as the opening act. Three weeks of nightly concerts will culminate with the return of country icon George Strait, closing out RodeoHouston festivities with special guest Ashley McBryde on Sunday, March 20. That follows his record-setting performance in 2019 that drew over 80,000 fans to NRG Stadium.
In addition, two other Texas artists have been revealed: Trill City icon Bun B will bring in a star-studded hip-hop line-up with his H-Town Takeover on Friday, March 11. Conroe native Parker McCollum performs on Saturday, March 12.
That leaves 17 slots to be filled, set to be announced on January 5 at a special entertainer reveal ceremony. Once again, country music will take the lion’s share of performances on 13 of the 20 nights. Organizers have always attracted the biggest, best, and buzziest upcoming country acts to the Stars Over Texas stage, so expect a massive roster with some major home runs.
Other genres featured this year include the first ever Christian act on Thursday, March 3; Latin pop on Friday, March 5; norteño on Sunday, March 7; rock on Thursday, March 10; pop on Tuesday, March 15; R&B/pop on Wednesday, March 16; and the return of the now established EDM genre on Friday, March 18, perfectly placed during spring break for most Houston area students.
“The 2022 RodeoHouston lineup has something for everyone, and that’s important to us, as we are always hoping to draw newcomers to our event, and hopefully, create new lifelong Rodeo fans,” said Chris Boleman, rodeo president and CEO in a press release.
Individual RodeoHouston tickets will go on sale to the public Thursday, Jan. 13 at rodeohouston.com. Ticket prices start at $20, plus a $4 convenience fee. Visit the RodeoHouston website for a full rundown of the genre calendar.
Who else will make an appearance on the star-shaped stage set in the dirt and dust of NRG Stadium? CultureMap's predictions for who will show up on the famed star-shaped stage at include the following:
Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton
When it comes to programming this year’s country acts, it’s a matter of following the K.I.S.S principle — Keep It Simple Stupid. All five artists listed were set to play RodeoHouston before it tragically went dark due to city-wide lockdown measures.
Kane Brown, set to make his second headlining appearance, was especially hard – the performer was only hours away from taking the stage. The other gentlemen are as common to RodeoHouston as fried food is to the midway with over 30 appearances between them. Chances are these award-winning artists will be back again in 2022.
The award-winning country-pop starlet absolutely nailed her first appearance at RodeoHouston, opening the 2019 slate. Her profile is even brighter since that performance, recently playing Saturday Night Live, and heading up festivals since the release of the critically acclaimed album, Star-Crossed. Don’t be surprised if she’s back.
Sure, she hasn’t put out a massive selling album in years, but make no mistake, people love them some Reba. The country legend has a long string of No. 1 hit songs and she’s remained a pop culture force with TV shows, movies, awards-show hosting duties, even a spin as Colonel Sanders in a KFC ad campaign.
She’s currently playing a Las Vegas residency with fellow legends, Brooks & Dunn, which has seen thousands travel to see her. Also, an appearance at the 2022 edition would be her 20th RodeoHouston performance, something to celebrate.
Lizzo or Megan Thee Stallion
One of the biggest regrets of the COVID-addled early closure to the 2020 season was not seeing a Houston-raised Lizzo at the absolute height of her powers strut her “Good As Hell” moves. When CultureMap asked Jason Kane, RodeoHouston manager of entertainment and concert production whether they’d bring back the Grammy award winner, he said it would be a priority.
“I think we can safely say that we’re going to do everything we can to make sure Lizzo gets to play her hometown,” Kane said.
If Lizzo isn’t available or if her star has dimmed too much since 2020 (it hasn’t), we predict Megan Thee Stallion will get the nod. The fellow-Houstonian is currently one of the hottest stars in the world right now and fellow “W.A.P.” co-star Cardi B proved that a heavily censored, buttoned-up show is possible while still retaining a high-level of fun.
This s**t is bananas. The No Doubt singer and huge solo act in her own right was another victim of COVID’s fallout in 2020. It would make complete sense to bring her back. Additionally, she’s now married to Blake Shelton, who is known to show up to her shows for duets. Who wouldn’t want to see that happen?
Bad Bunny or J. Balvin
Over the last half-decade, RodeoHouston officials kept their finger on the pulse of what is popular with listening audiences. Bad Bunny was the most streamed star in 2021 with over 9.1 billion streams on Spotify, up from 8.3 billion in 2022.
Booking the Puerto Rican star would be a slam dunk and an instant sell-out among the legions of fans in the Greater Houston region. If Bunny is too pricey, Colombian artist J. Balvin would be more than worthy to fill the Latin Pop night slot.
This likely won’t happen, but one can dream. Every season RodeoHouston is good for a few longtime country faves. And every year, we call for concert organizers to hear our collective calls to bring Dolly Parton to Houston so we can regale her with our adoration.
Outside of her saintly charitable efforts, Parton is one of the most popular country artists of all time with a songbook to rival anyone. The singalongs to “Jolene,” “9 to 5,” and “I Will Always Love You,” and “Coat of Many Colors” would be major highlight of the 2022 season. Make this happen, RodeoHouston!