Brooks & Dunn to Welcome Friends for Final Farewell
Brooks & Dunn wrap up the Last Rodeo tour tonight (September 2) with a sold-out show at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. One of the most successful duos in music history and a staple at country radio for two decades, the guys decided to mark the culmination on their 20-year career together with a benefit concert, Brooks & Dunn and Friends, with proceeds going to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
"We're really proud of the Hall of Fame and everything it stands for," Ronnie Dunn explains. "It's really cool that we have it here in Nashville and are very proud of the heritage that comes with it."
The pair, who released their debut album 'Brand New Man' in 1991, have hinted at a possible superstar line-up of guests for this last show, and Ronnie believes it's going to be a huge celebration. "We're going to have all our friends backstage. There'll be more people backstage than there will be out front probably, and that's fine with us. We'll just go out with a big party and have a cab take us home."
Wrapping up a partnership of two decades will not be easy, but they didn't think it would last this long or be this successful in any case. "Our big dream was a gold record," Kix tells The Boot. "That was almost unreachable, but it was just kind of a goof. If we could pull that off, it was worth getting together and see what we could do. We didn't even talk in those lofty terms until that first single took off, and we went, 'Gosh! We might actually have something for six months or a year. This could be a gig while we're trying to get the rest of our lives together.' I mean, 20 years was the last thing on our minds, I can assure you."
Brooks & Dunn, who were put together by former Arista Records President Tim DuBois in 1990, have sold more than 30 million records, won numerous awards and scored 23 chart-topping hits, all of which seemed unlikely at the outset. "The thought of having a 20-year career with this guy was impossible. I mean there was no chance that was going to happen," Kix says. "The chance that we might get a record deal, and might get to go record some songs, and possibly have some success, that's kind of what I was thinking of as best-case scenario. Even to get to tour together, or whatever, seemed like kind of an outside shot. It's possible, but as things went it's like, 'OK ... you guys got to put a band together.' And next thing we knew, we had an opening gig with Steve Wariner. We had a couple shows to go do."
This week the history-making pair garnered their last CMA Vocal Duo of the Year nomination, a category they won for the final time at the ACM Awards in Las Vegas earlier this year.
The music business is still part of the plan for the two, who will pursue separate careers. Kix has a lot of outside interests in addition to his music career, including his weekly radio countdown show and his winery, Arrington Vineyards, while rumors are swirling about Ronnie already working on a solo album.
"It has been a big part of our lives, but at the same time, we're not dead," says Kix. "And we both got lots of stuff going on, and we'll both be making music down the road."