Brooks & Dunn

Joel Voorman

Founded in 1991, Brooks & Dunn signed to Arista Nashville that year. They have recorded 11 studio albums and five compilation albums for the label. They also have released 50 singles, of which 20 went to number one on the Hot Country Songs charts and 19 more reached top 10. Two of these number-one songs, “My Maria” (a cover of the B.W. Stevenson song) and “Ain’t Nothing ’bout You,” were the top country songs of 1996 and 2001, respectively, according to the Billboard Year-End charts. The latter is also the duo’s longest-lasting number-one single on that chart at six weeks. Several of their songs have also reached the Billboard Hot 100, with the number-25 peaks of “Ain’t Nothing ’bout You” and “Red Dirt Road” being their highest there. Brooks and Dunn also won the Country Music Association Vocal Duo of the Year award every year between 1992 and 2006, except for 2000. Two of their songs won the Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal: “Hard Workin’ Man” in 1994 and “My Maria” in 1996. All but two of the duo’s studio albums are certified platinum or higher by the Recording Industry Association of America; their highest-certified is their 1991 debut album, ‘Brand New Man,’ which is certified sextuple-platinum for shipments of six million copies.

The duo’s material is known for containing influences of honky-tonk, mainstream country, and rock, as well as the contrast between their singing voices and on-stage personalities, although some of their music has also been criticized as formulaic. Their 1992 single “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” helped repopularize line dancing in the United States, and 2001’s “Only in America” was used by both George W. Bush and Barack Obama in their respective presidential campaigns. Brooks and Dunn have collaborated with several artists, including Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, Sheryl Crow, Mac Powell, Billy Gibbons, and Jerry Jeff Walker.

After announcing their retirement in August 2009, they performed their “final” concert on September 2, 2010, at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. Both Brooks and Dunn have continued to record for Arista Nashville as solo artists. Dunn released a self-titled album in 2011, which included the top-10 country hit “Bleed Red”, while Brooks released New to This Town in September 2012. The duo reunited in 2015 for a series of concerts with Reba McEntire in Las Vegas. In 2019, the duo was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.


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