Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price will welcome Nashville recording artist JT Hodges back to his hometown on Friday and give him a key to the city.

Hodges is battling American Idol winner Scotty McCreery and several other country singers for the Academy of Country Music Awards New Artist of the Year. The show airs April 1 with Reba McIntire and Blake Shelton hosting.

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Fan voting determines the winner. Go here to vote — unless you’re planning on voting for McCreery, in which case I suggest you stop, walk to a mirror, look deeply into it, and say, “Really?”


Price will give Hodges the key to the city at 9 a.m. Friday, then at 10 a.m. he’ll perform at his old high school, The Oak Ridge School, in Arlington. At 11:30 a.m. he’ll hit the Stockyards for the longhorn drive, then at 2 p.m. he’ll visit his other alma mater, Texas Christian University.

Finally, he’ll perform a free show at 6 p.m. at the JT Hodges Music Rally at the 8.0 Bar in Sundance Square.

In the video below, he talks about growing up in Fort Worth with parents who established Buffalo Sound Studios, the city’s first multi-track recording studio:


  1. Is this how you plan on getting votes by insulting another artist. Real Class Act I must say. WOW I really hope JT had nothing to do with this, if so, shame on him. REALLY?

  2. This is obviously the author’s words, not JT’s. Music is subjective and everyone has the right to their own opinion. My vote is for JT (re: rachel Justin Taylor Hodges).

  3. I agree with Katie artists are not politicians. No one has anything to gain by reaching out this way. Especially JT who respects all artists and their work. If you believe everything you read….welll that’s your choice….my choice is JT.

  4. What’s a shame is how close minded and judgmental some of you are acting towards JT. Why would we not want to support someone who was born and raised in Fort Worth?! Do you even know his story?? How he grew up in a recording studio, his parents were musicians. He even went to TCU. So what if he went by a different name at one time! Alot of great artists of the past did as well on their musical journey. Can’t stand it when people rant when they don’t know what their talking about. Guarantee you JT had nothing to do with what was written. I bet it will break his heart if he sees what some of you have written, especially since he’s probably so excited to be coming home in this way. That’s the shame!

    • Either you’re JT or a total douche who has a man crush on Justin Hodges, Hodges, JT Hodges, or whatever comes next. If country doesn’t pan out, he’ll go where all musicians go to die, the Christian music route. My bet is that when this happens, he’ll go by JC Hodges.

    • Either you’re JT or a total douche who has a man crush on Justin Hodges, Hodges, JT Hodges, or whatever comes next. If country doesn’t pan out, he’ll go where all musicians go to die, the Christian music route. My bet is that when this happens, he’ll go by JC Hodges.

  5. I’m a BIG Scotty fan and after reading this article, I would have to say… this is the authors wording NOT JT’s! However since I’m a Texas girl…. I feel compeled to vote for the hometown Texas boy.

  6. OBVIOUSLY the author’s words meant to help out the hometown hero. JT grew up here and it is up to all of us in the Fort Worth area to stand up and be counted and vote for JT. He always remembers us so now it’s time to give him our support. All the best to all the artists in the competition. JT would never bad mouth anyone.

  7. I actually like JT, but the writer had a very poor way of getting his point across, country music doesn’t work that way, they never discredit another artist ever. The writer was way out of line in doing so. Best of luck to JT

  8. Hey all ….doesn’t look like either artist is responsible for this. Writers do what they want. I love JT and will vote for him but Scotty is good too. Fans know what’s best so vote your fan favorite. In my opinion let writers do their job and us fans do ours. Good luck to all the nominees!

  9. I think all the nominees this year are really good and any one of them deserves to win, INCLUDING SCOTTY MCCREERY. He doesn’t deserve the hate. I don’t see how tearing down another singer helps yours. I hope if JT sees this page he asks it to be taken down and apologizes to Scotty.

  10. I’m sure JT Hodges is way too busy to influence a writer and criticize another artist. It’s unfortunate that a writer’s opinion is being projected onto JT. My vote is for JT for sure!

  11. I’m voting for JT. I love his new video he has up on YouTube. I don’t pay attention what writers or those in the news say. I don’t think JT or Scotty had anything to do with this. Let’s vote for our hometown boy though JT….he deserves it. Vote gang. Vote fans. Don’t paint this out to be something the artist did. Both of them have class.

  12. Let’s lighten up a bit… The article was written by Jeff Prince of Fort Worth Weekly, whose job it is to create articles that people want to read and comment on. More importantly, though, I’ve been following JT’s career for a long time. You couldn’t find a nicer, more talented and more deserving guy than JT. 🙂

  13. JT Fans, let’s unite!! We’ve gotta get our Texas boy into the ACM finals! We can vote DAILY, on our computers, on our cell phones – lets vote vote vote!

  14. I’ve never met or spoken to JT Hodges. Don’t know him from Adam. I’m just blogging about a hometown boy up for a national award. I’m certain Hodges would take the high road and say nothing but kind and wonderful things about Scotty McCreery.

    I, on the other hand, am free to take the low road. I don’t care for McCreery’s hokey singing style or that nausea-inducing expression he gets on his face when performing. (See photo above; I rest my case).

  15. As for a hokey singing style – Scotty’s voice is pure country – not pop/rock. He has gorgeous tone and pitch. JT has a beautiful voice but nothing extraordinary. I do think Scotty’s voice is unique. Fortunately, we can choose what we listen to, and since you don’t like it jeff.prince you don’t have to listen to it. I think your comments reflect a lot about you, and not so much about Scotty.

  16. didn’t even know who this guy Hodges was until a week ago.Scotty McCreery the best deserved to win has the best country music voice

  17. Whoa, this board is hot! I don’t know Scotty or JT, but I do know one of them had a lot of money, TV and a preexsisting fan base of billions of people which blasted him into over-night super stardom and the other (from what I have gathered) as been working at their craft for years playing, writing and giging . . . earning fans one-by-one. Scotty is the VERY minority when it comes to professional recording artist and JT is one of thousands who do it the “old fashioned” way. What’s wrong or right, I don’t know, but you get into a conversation with any professional music artist and ask them their REAL opinion of AI. Now onto the “who’s got a better country voice” debate. Country is historically rooted in songwriting, not a baritone or twangy voice. Plenty of critics thought Garth Brooks was “not country” and Jason Aldean was criticized in the begining for being too rock. The production on the majority of the country songs you hear (Miranda, Blake, Rascal Flatts, Kenny) are all pop productions. HELL, Kenny Chesney is taking Grace Potter on tour with him this summer . . . that’s not “very country”, but I LOVE IT! We live in an iPod world where you listen to Dolly Parton one minute and Katy Perry the next. People get hung up on putting people in boxes. Here’s to the future of music folks! Lets not rain on anybody’s homecoming parade! Peace!

  18. The REAL opinion about AI by professional music artists is probably negative and most often I agree, but even AI stumbles upon some real talent like Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and, yes, Scotty McCreery. There’s no requirement to be broke and beaten down to be talented. Who wouldn’t jump at the chance for mass exposure on TV to win fans?

  19. @Vic, By the looks of this JT guy I’m going out on a limb and betting he’s not “broke” or “beaten down”.
    Not trying to start anything here . . . everyone has the right to their opinion. Hey, some people like apples and some people like fruit rollups!

  20. I’ve been impressed by Scotty as a person as well as by his talent. He seems to be very aware that Nashville will be prejudiced against the AI kid. He’s mentioned it before and has been thankful that so far he’s felt they’ve been quite accepting, for example with Keith Urban sending him “Walk In the Country” and several of the top song writers in Nashville willing, even wanting, to send him songs, and the producers he’s worked with have commented on his talent, work ethic and willingness to take instruction. He knows other artists, like JT, have worked longer and struggled more to get where they are. He often expresses how grateful -and surprised -he is for this chance. Ironically, he was hoping just to make it through the first round of AI and go back to NC and take the advice they gave him to start working his way up. I can understand why an artist, or fans of an artist, like JT would resent someone getting ahead so quickly. Like Vic said, who wouldn’t want a huge audience. Why take it out on Scotty with hateful comments? Time will tell if he has the talent to succeed long term. Just like it will with J.T.

  21. And…the whole he looks like Howdy Doody and the MAD character stuff… he said he’s heard since he was little. Playground 101. He’s used to bullies and he has learned not to take it to heart. From what I see, he’s matured into his looks and is quite handsome…I’m not alone in that opinion. He’s really a class act.

  22. You’re right – not here. His facial expressions were commented on here by the writer and it made me think of those other comparisons made at other sites and by folks like Jimmy Fallon.

  23. I could go on at length about how Justin Hodges (aka Taylor Hodges aka Hodges Taylor aka JT Hodges) has been whatever the person waving money at him at any given time wanted him to be, but I think it’s more compelling that years ago, prior to moving to L.A., he made a big deal about how much he hated Fort Worth. Wanna know about JT Hodges? Ask a local musician, or anyone who’s had to work with him and his dad over the past 30 years. If they’re polite, they won’t say anything at all. Chances are they won’t be polite. And in his current “Aspiring Country Star” incarnation, has he even played a show in Fort Worth? How about Ornette Coleman or T-Bone Burnett, or geez, how about Todd Lewis? If Justin Hodges is the kind of “artist” who merits Fort Worth’s official recognition, I’d say that key is a dubious honor at best.

  24. I echo Steve’s sentiments exactly. What a joke that the city is “honoring” this guy. The notion seems about as bogus as the music competiton he is a part of. Speaking as a musician who left my native Fort Worth (my favorite city in the world) to pursue ventures elsewhere, FW is a place that has always inspired, dared to dream and embraced it’s underdog-champion status

    The Fort Worth pre-fab, trend following culture that I thought just existed within the walls of chain restaraunts and sterile bars that lay adjacent to 7th st. actually goes much further–all the way up the street, into downtown, and into whatever official city PR office that dreamed up this nonsense accolade.

    How about a key for all the musicians who actually make Fort Worth something to be proud of, not a butt of a joke, like the forementioned? Here are just a few nominees:

    Big Mike Richardson, Jeff Dazey, Justin Pate, Jeremy Hull, Josh Weathers, Sam Anderson, Steve Steward, Brian Forella, Chris Maunder, Brandin Lea, Johnny Case, Rich Stitzel, Curt Wilson, Ornette, T-Bone, Todd…and on and on and on and on.

  25. Sounds like there are some bitter dudes here. I guess that’s what you get for chasing your dream. JT has actually played FTW a couple times. I saw him at Billy Bob’s not too long ago with Rodney Atkins and it was a great show.

  26. Not bitter at all.

    I am at the very least sickened that the city would honor this guy.

    Look at the long list of musicians that are from Fort Worth who have gone on to do something worth a damn and don’t distance themselves from the city they came from. Justin Hodges, Hodges Taylor, Taylor Hodges, and now JT Hodges is a joke who is everything this city we love isn’t. Don’t be fooled, the only reason he is even coming back is to win some competition and have people think that he is some kind of beloved hometown hero.

    This is an absolute joke. I’d like to think the mayor has more important things to do than to be giving a key to the city to some genre hopping, habitual name changing, silver spooned singer who can’t come close to matching the talents of musicians you can regularly see around the Fort.

    What is a music rally anyways?

  27. Anybody from Fort Worth that’s nominated for a ACM award, Grammy, Oscar or any other big awards gets plenty of attention and praise. If any of those guys you mentioned gets nominated they’ll get their keysto the city too. What’s the big deal? They’re sypposed to get a key because they play a gig at Fred’s every week? Get real.

  28. Bub,

    T Bone Burnett has won several grammys, academy awards, oscars…the list goes on.

    If we’re giving out keys to musicians from FW, my list starts there and never includes someone like Hodges.

  29. Cliff, did you know that T-Bone actually used to record at Justin’s Father’s recording studio while he was here? T-Bone also hasn’t really tried to come back to his roots necessarily, I’m sure FW would welcome him with even more open arms with a key. I really don’t see how someone venturing outside of their hometown to explore their artistry, learn and grow and want to come back and share his accomplishments is a bad thing. It really sounds like you are holding a grudge at someone you personally know. Stop being such a hater Cliff, it makes you look like a frustrated musician. FYI, I do know Justin and he is the nicest, most humble artist I’ve met. I’m sure this would kill him to know what you’re saying about him on here..especially if he knows you.

  30. Well, he knows all of us and we’d tell him the same thing to his face.

    We just think it’s ridiculous our city would waste any time/resources on something like this.

    When he was in college he was wannabe dave matthews, moves to LA, gets a deal w/ rob thomas, sounds like rob thomas, now lives in nashville and is all of the sudden country? Along with changing his name everytime he changes genres.

    My buddy Jordan up above deserves a key to the city long before him.

    On top of it all, Justin doesn’t even have an album out yet.

  31. I’ve been writing about Fort Worth music for 10 years on a daily basis, and while I don’t know JT Hodges — nor have ever been told, “You should go see JT Hodges tonight!” — I can say that Jordan Richardson (Ben Harper’s drummer), Cliff Wright (The Orbans), and Steve Steward (EPIC RUINS, Vorvon, Kevin Aldridge & The Appraisers, Oil Boom) are three of the finest musicians I’ve ever seen or heard. To think that they’re in any way envious of Hodges’ “award” is absurd. They’re just making a point, me-thinks, point being that the “award” is ridiculous and that Hodges may not be the lovable Fort Worthian he claims to be.

  32. My friends and brothers in music commenting above are the real ft worth musicians. I can’t even begin to fathom why on earth he would be getting a key to anything. Oh well, soon he’ll be “beee-yond the bound-ah-ree” of ft worth.

  33. JT (puhlease) is an absolute poseur. His dad has pulled strings left and right for this douchebag and he still can’t make it. His lyrics are cliche, meaningless, and cheesy. With each name change comes a genre change. What’s next? Christian rock? First he was trying to be Dave Matthews, then he went to LA to pursue a career in a boy band, when that didn’t pan out, he tried pop rock, and now he’s a country boy wanna be with new accent included. This guy loves himself.

  34. @ Tony: Either you’re JT or a total douche who has a man crush on Justin Hodges, Hodges, JT Hodges, or whatever comes next. If country doesn’t pan out, he’ll go where all musicians go to die, the Christian music route. My bet is that when this happens, he’ll go by JC Hodges.