Brooks and Dunn Biography

Brooks & Dunn--and we're not talking Garth and Holly--are part of the vanguard of "new country" artists who helped redefine the genre in the early 1990s and expand its appeal. With a flair for both clever country songcraft and pyrotechnic stage shows, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn are a whole lotta country and a whole lotta rock 'n' roll. It's paid off with a string of No. 1 and top 10 hits and--ever since the Judds broke up---a long run as country's reigning duo, winning the Country Music Association's Vocal Duo Of The Year five consecutive times and the CMA's 1996 Entertainer Of The Year award.

For all their onstage Texas-sized flash and swagger--which owes a big debt to the trail blazed by Garth--the music of Brooks & Dunn is actually more closely follows country traditions than does Garth's. Even when their music rocks hard, the sentiment and lyrics remain wedded to reliable country touchstones like cheatin', drinkin' and broken hearts. As a hard-country singer, Dunn, who handles lead vocals the majority of the time, has few peers. Brooks and Dunn, oil workers' sons from Louisiana and Texas, became a duo in 1990 when Arista-Nashville president Tim DuBois, a former songwriter who had earlier found success by putting together Restless Heart, urged Brooks and Dunn to form an act. Each had already been in Nashville awhile, seeking success in the industry: songwriter Brooks had had songs cut by Highway 101, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Crystal Gayle, while Dunn had recorded two chart singles for Churchill Records in the early '80s, and had claimed victory in the 1989 Marlboro National Talent Search.

Brooks and Dunn

When DuBois put the pair together, the explosion of success came fast and furious. Their debut album launched the pair toward multi-platinum stardom with four straight chart-topping singles, including "Brand New Man," "My Next Broken Heart" and "Boot Scootin' Boogie." The latter launched the line-dance craze that, for an uncomfortable moment, looked to steer B&D toward novelty-act status and the country genre toward another "Urban Cowboy" phase, but somehow both duo and genre survived.

In 1998, Brooks & Dunn teamed up with country diva Reba McEntire for an unusual cross-promotional project: the release of B&D's album If You See Her coincided with the release of McEntire's If You See Him, along with the duet single "If You See Him/ If You See Her."

Brooks and Dunn Biography