Brooks & Dunn Announce Break-Up
After nearly 20 years and 41 Top 10 hits, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn are going their separate ways.
Rumors started to swirl yesterday afternoon, and the break-up was confirmed when the award-winning duo posted this message on their official website:
“After 20 years of making music and riding this trail together, we have agreed as a duo that it’s time call it a day. This ride has been everything and more than we could ever have dreamed…. We owe it all to you, the fans. If you hear rumors, don’t believe them, it’s just time.”
The group will release its #1’s and Then Some album on September 8th and will take The Last Rodeo Tour on the road next summer.
There has been speculation for several years that the duo was nearing the end. In the fall of 2007, several media outlets including GAC and Country Weekly reported that Brooks and Dunn were going to start pursuing solo projects.
“In the contract we are signing now…we are allowed to release solo projects,” said Dunn in a 2007 interview with The Tennessean. “That doesn’t mean the franchise is in danger.”
Dunn, in particular, seemed to have an itch to go solo.
“We talk about it all the time. Individual styles just gravitate to something that we really like and we’ll do 10 or 12 songs and throw them out there,” said Dunn, according to a 2007 gactv.com article. “It doesn’t have to be a big hit; it’s just more of a personal, fulfilling mission than anything.”
Brooks also might have been hinting towards the break-up. Last Wednesday, he played a songwriters night at the Douglas Corner Café in Nashville. He also participated in this year’s Tin Pan South—one of just a few solo appearances over the last several years. On his weekly American Country Countdown radio show this past weekend, Brooks alluded to relaxing on a Caribbean island by age 60. Brooks is 54.
Brooks and Dunn’s personal lives have been relatively private—and completely separate. It’s a well-known fact that the duo rides separate tour buses and rarely sees each other, except when on-stage. Still, according to a CBS News special, they unite for a pre-show shot of whiskey before pleasing the thousands of fans that come to see them on tour. Such is the routine for a long-time touring duo.
While many have speculated over the relationship between Brooks and Dunn over the years, there is nothing official to indicate that the duo didn’t get along.
Ever since their 6x platinum-selling 1991 debut album Brand New Man, the duo’s album sales have been declining. Their 2007 release Cowboy Town has yet to reach platinum status.
The album sales dip might just reflect the economy and business, but Brooks & Dunn have also been struggling in terms of radio play—at least by their own standards. In the past three years, the twosome has had three singles fail to reach the Top 10. Before 2006, only four single releases didn’t make the Top 10—a remarkable achievement in its own right.
The internet went abuzz with comments once the announcement of the break-up was made public. Here’s what people were saying:
“Sad day…Brooks & Dunn going their separate ways. Let me just say thanks to those guys for giving us all the soundtrack to our lives. I’ll even go as far as saying: Ronnie Dunn, you are the greatest singer in the business and one of the best of all time. Thank you.” – Jake Owen (@jakeofficial), country artist
“Brooks and Dunn call it quits after 20 years together. Maybe they ran out of room to put all of their awards. I will miss interviewing them.” – Katie Cook (@TheKatieCook), CMT reporter
“Timely though they still had a lot of years left I think. Songs? Neon Moon, brand New Man,Nothin about you, Long Goodbye is my fav” – Jeff Dykhuis (@jeffdykhuis) – The 9513 follower
“Brooks & Dunn are splitting up. I wonder who’ll get custody of the state fair circuit.” – Tim Siedell (@badbanana), blogger
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