Last night the stars came out to honor the greatest duo in country music history: Brooks & Dunn.
After 20 years together, Brooks & Dunn are moving past their success as a duo as they pursue the next phases in their careers. It seems both will seek success as solo artists. There has long been speculation that Ronnie Dunn – who has taken the majority of lead vocals on recent hit singles – would find success as a solo artist.
Kix hosts American Country Countdown – a weekly radio show syndicated on stations all over the US.
These are two talented guys. Hopefully the separation will spark new creative ventures that fans and each artist can enjoy.
Brooks & Dunn Tribute Concert Highlights
Taylor Swift was the host. She did a great job. Her energy was contagious. She was funny. She was enthusiastic. Her spirit lifted the energy of everyone in the crowd.
Kenny Chesney sang a classic Brooks & Dunn song that isn’t heard much anymore – You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone. The song is a classic B&D tune and a hit that featured Kix on lead vocals. It’s a great song and one of my personal favorites. The performance was a highlight of the evening.
Tim McGraw said it really well [paraphrase], “I didn’t tour with Brooks & Dunn. I’m just here as a fellow singer that was excited to be part of a new direction in country music”. Brooks & Dunn did change the direction of country music in the ’90s.
George Strait said that people ask him who he listens to on the radio. He said he frequently listens to Brooks & Dunn.
Brad Paisley mentioned the impact of Tim DuBois and his idea for a country duo that became Brooks & Dunn.
Brooks & Dunn Legacy
The idea to put the two struggling solo acts together came from record exec Tim DuBois. After having success launching the career of Alan Jackson, DuBois was looking for ways to promote other acts. He knew Jackson was his lead male horse so he was looking for ways to arrange acts that were different in make-up. DuBois had a successful female in Pam Tillis. He launched the group Diamond Rio and later the group Blackhawk. The idea for a country duo centered around Kix and Ronnie.
Alan Jackson lead the way for Arista in 1990 and 1991, but ’91 proved to be a breakout year for Tillis, Diamond Rio, and Brooks & Dunn. The most successful of the latter group was Brooks & Dunn. They albums were selling multiple millions. Their songs were frequently at the tops of the chart. As Tim McGraw stated, “Brooks & Dunn changed country music”.
The combination of the energetic Kix Brooks and the unique vocals of Ronnie Dunn will be the legacy of Brooks & Dunn. The music they created together was powerful. The rocking songs still lift people’s spirits even 15, 20 years later. The ballads still mean so much to so many country music fans. The entire collection of B&D hits is played on radio today.
Brooks & Dunn are legends. It was great to see them recognized by their peers last night.
Here is too a successful future for both Kix and Ronnie.