Since their debut in 1991, Brooks & Dunn has sold more than 30 million albums, more than any duo in any genre of music. Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn have accumulated 20 No. hit songs, influencing generations of country music fans, so it shocked fans and the music industry when they announced their decision to split in August of 2009. Their “Last Rodeo” tour concluded in Nashville in September of 2010, then each of the men pursued their own interests for a few years, releasing their respective solo albums.
The duo ultimately came back together in 2015 for a Vegas residency with Reba McEntire that continued through 2021. In 2019, Brooks & Dunn returned to the studio, releasing their REBOOT album, which featured collaborations with Kane Brown, Thomas Rhett, Brett Young, LANCO, Ashley McBryde, Brothers Osborne, Luke Combs, Midland, Cody Johnson, Jon Pardi, Tyler Booth, and Kacey Musgraves. Later that same year, Brooks & Dunn were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in the “Modern Era Artist” category.
Brooks & Dunn attempted to hit the road together again in 2020, but were sidelined by the pandemic. They were finally able to relaunch the Reboot tour in 2021, their first nationwide tour in nearly 10 years, and have continued touring as of late.
Here are 10 of the best Brooks & Dunn songs:
10. “Rock My World (Little Country Girl)”
Written by Bill LaBounty, Steve O’Brien (1993)
“Rock My World (Little Country Girl)” from the Hard Workin’ Man album was the second single from Brooks & Dunn to feature Kix Brooks on lead vocals instead of Ronnie Dunn, showcasing the duo’s versatility. The song features a driving guitar part and infectious energy that translates well on a dance floor.
9. “If You See Him, If You See Her”
Written by Tommy Lee James, Jennifer Kimball, Terry McBride (1998)
Brooks & Dunn have a long-standing relationship with fellow country superstar Reba McEntire, collaborating on several songs and tours throughout their career. “If You See Him, If You See Her” went beyond the song, serving as the title track for each artist’s album in 1998. In the ballad, Dunn and McEntire’s characters initially tell their friends that they’re doing okay after a breakup, but ultimately admit they want to get back together.
8. “Boot Scootin’ Boogie”
Written by Ronnie Dunn (1992)
Perhaps the most identifiable line dance of the 90s, “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” helped define an era of country music. Originally recorded by the band Asleep at the Wheel for their 1990 album, Keepin’ Me Up Nights, Brooks & Dunn recorded their cover of the song for their debut album Brand New Man. It became their fourth consecutive No.1 single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
7. “Only in America”
Written by Kix Brooks, Don Cook, Ronnie Rogers (2001)
“Only in America” was the second single from their album Steers & Stripes, released just three months before the attacks of September 11, 2001. The patriotic tune describes the lives of various people from different walks of life in America, then declares, “Only in America / Where we dream as big as we want to.” It has often been used in political campaigns for both Republicans and Democrats.
6. “That Ain’t No Way to Go”
Written by Kix Brooks, Don Cook, Ronnie Dunn (1994)
“That Ain’t No Way to Go” paints the picture of a silent goodbye, marked by lipstick on a mirror. The aching ballad showcases both Dunn’s knockout vocals and the duo’s powerful harmonies. It was the fifth and final single from their album, Hard Workin’ Man.
5. “Brand New Man”
Written by Kix Brooks, Don Cook, Ronnie Dunn (1991)
“Brand New Man” was the debut single and title track of Brooks & Dunn’s debut album, delivering a powerful punch with an almost a capella chorus intro. The narrator declares that he’s a changed man because of a newfound love, describing his untamed past and his new desire to settle down. When the song hit the top of the country charts, it made Brooks & Dunn only the second country music band in history to have its debut single reach No.1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
4. “My Maria”
Written by Daniel Moore, B. W. Stevenson (1996)
Originally recorded by co-writer B.W. Stevenson in 1973, “My Maria” became a hit for Brooks & Dunn as well, winning them a GRAMMY award in 1997 for Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. Dunn’s falsetto shines during the chorus, as he elongates the “I” in “Maria,” making it the standout moment of the song and memorable for years to come.
3. “Red Dirt Road”
Written by Kix Brooks, Ronnie Dunn (2003)
“Red Dirt Song” is a staple of the Brooks & Dunn catalog, summarizing their upbringing and shared values in their hometowns of Shreveport, Louisiana, and El Dorado, Arkansas. The song describes the formative memories that happened while living along a red dirt road, from a first love and first beer to finding Jesus and wrecking a car. It became the duo’s 18th No.1 song.
2. “Neon Moon”
Written by Ronnie Dunn (1992)
“Neon Moon” was the third single from their debut album Brand New Man and became the duo’s third consecutive No.1. Written solely by Dunn, the song describes a heartbroken man who mourns a lost love “most every night / Beneath the light / Of a neon moon.”
Written by Ronnie Dunn, Craig Wiseman (2005)
“Believe” was the second single from their album Hillbilly Deluxe and it won three Country Music Association awards in 2006: Single of the Year, Song of the Year and Music Video of the Year. The song describes the wisdom that a young boy received during his childhood from an old man about believing in God and that he would be reunited with his loved ones in Heaven. With a powerful progression of intensity, “Believe” is a gospel-infused iconic moment in country music.
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