Beloved country duo Brooks & Dunn, aka Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn, shocked the world in 2009 when they announced that, after a successful 20 years together, they were calling it quits. People sat down with them at the time, noting although it seemed like a rash decision, particularly for long-time fans of the group, the guys didn’t take it lightly. “It’s too good a horse to ride it into the ground,” Brooks explained.
As he was also quick to note, “We’re still good friends. I’m proud to say we’ve never had a fight, never even yelled at each other. And that’s the truth.” Dunn agreed, revealing, “We started as co-workers and realized we had whole lot in common. We’ve ended up more like brothers.” However, regardless of their shared love for each other, both men agreed the split was, sadly, a long time coming.
Brooks and Dunn didn't want to be a duo in the first place
In fact, both Brooks and Dunn originally envisioned themselves as solo artists, and neither was too thrilled when the idea of performing together was floated. As Brooks admitted in an interview with Larry King, when a record company executive initially pitched it, they were reluctant. “We’re like, ‘We don’t wanna do this. We don’t know each other. I mean, this is just silly,'” he recalled (via Taste of Country.) Although they became fast friends (and supposedly never had a fight), the country stars consistently butted heads musically to the point that songs for their Tight Rope record were recorded and produced separately.
Still, they insist rumors about them full-on hating each other are wildly exaggerated. However, “Looking back, we should have just taken a break and let all the dust settle under us,” Dunn admitted to USA Today, with Brooks elaborating, “There have always been hurt feelings. There have always been opinions.”
Brooks and Dunn's shared love will never fade
In 2015, the duo reunited for a hugely successful Las Vegas residency with Reba McEntire. “We’ve been going to dinners and going on vacations together, which is pretty amazing considering Ronnie and I hate each other and don’t get along,” Brooks joked to Rolling Stone. Elsewhere, Brooks appeared on “Damn Drunk” from Dunn’s 2016 album, Tattooed Heart. In 2019, a decade after their initial split, Brooks and Dunn shocked the world once more by re-teaming for a duets project called Reboot, which includes contributions from some of modern country’s biggest stars. The collaboration debuted at No. 1, as per Taste of Country.
As Brooks told Rolling Stone, “Certainly Ronnie and I always considered ourselves brothers more than friends. We’ve never been afraid to express our differences of opinions to each other.” Dunn agreed, confirming, “There’s never been hate or discord. We’ve never not been friends.”
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