Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn paired up in 1990 to create the Grammy-winning duo Brooks & Dunn. They had a long trek together -- 10 studio albums, one Christmas album and three compilation albums -- before announcing their retirement as a group in 2009 and performing a final concert in September 2010.
With 20 No. 1 songs and all but two of their albums certified platinum or higher, the duo was certainly a force to be reckoned with on the country music front. And there's no telling what may be yet to come for Brooks & Dunn; after all, they're still performing together at a Las Vegas residency with Reba McEntire and prepping a hits album, Reboot, for release in April.
One thing is for sure, however: Brooks & Dunn's songs will forever be on the playlists of country fans; after all, they're soon-to-be Country Music Hall of Fame inductees. To get those playlists started, The Boot has picked our Top 10 tracks from B&D.
"If You See Him / If You See Her"From: 'If You See Her' (1998)
The all-star trio of Brooks, Dunn and McEntire makes this song extra special. "If You See Him / If You See Her" was the title track for the artists' 1998 albums (Brooks & Dunn put out "If You See Her," while McEntire released "If You See Him"). The three singers debuted the song at the 1998 ACM Awards.
"You're Going to Miss Me When I'm Gone"From: 'Waitin' on Sundown' (1994)
From the duo's third album, Waitin' on Sundown, this track is unique, as it is only their third single to feature Brooks on lead vocals. The narrator of the song explains that he's been feeling mistreated by his lover as of late, telling her that there's not a chance their relationship will make it if he's the only one trying. The song hits home for anyone who's been in that type of situation before, and these insightful lyrics make it a song not easily forgotten: "Heaven knows how much I love you / But I'm tired of holdin' on / You better kiss me / You're gonna miss me when I'm gone."
"Ain't Nothing 'Bout You"From: 'Steers & Stripes' (2001)
Ranked as the top song of 2001 on Billboard's year-end Hot Country Songs chart, "Ain't Nothing 'Bout You" is the tune of a man truly in love: The key line of the chorus, "There ain't nothing 'bout you," is followed up by the words "That don't do something for me." Country fans quickly fell in love with the tune, which was nominated for Single of the Year at the CMA Awards. It spent six weeks in the top spot on the country charts and even crossed over to pop radio, where it peaked at No. 25.
"Red Dirt Road"From: 'Red Dirt Road' (2003)
Brooks & Dunn's 2003 tune "Red Dirt Road" quickly became a country favorite. It nostalgically describes a rural dirt road where lots of memories were made, from walking to church and falling in love to drinking a first beer, wrecking a car for the first time and finding faith in the unlikeliest of places. The duo performed the song at Dale Earnhardt's tribute concert at the Daytona International Speedway in the summer of 2003. It hit No. 1 on the country charts and resounded with pop fans as well, making it to No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Neon Moon"From: 'Brand New Man' (1991)
Written by Dunn, "Neon Moon" is a classic lonely-ex-lovers song, and it surprisingly turned into a well-loved slow-dance tune. Picture a rundown bar, a table for two way in the back and a lonesome guy sitting there, drinking his sorrows away -- that's "Neon Moon," alright. "I spend most every night / Beneath the light / Of this neon moon," the duo croons in the tune -- hardly a romantic track to sway to on the dance floor with your lover, but somehow, it works.
"Brand New Man"From: 'Brand New Man' (1991)
Brooks & Dunn's debut single and the title track of their six-times platinum debut album, "Brand New Man" was the duo's first No. 1 song on the charts. The tune's narrator tells his lover how she's turned his life around for the better, turning him into a brand-new man ... and who doesn't want a love that can do that? The reception of "Brand New Man" was a strong indicator that Brooks & Dunn were exactly what country fans wanted.
"My Maria"From: 'Borderline' (1996)
"My Maria" wasn't actually first recorded by the country duo; rather, it was originally released by B.W. Stevenson in the 1970s and became a Top 10 pop hit. But B&D later turned it into a Grammy-winning country track, notching the hardware in 1997 for Best Country Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocal (now known as Best Country Duo / Group Performance). "My Maria" was also ranked the No. 1 song of 1996, according to Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, with its chorus of surprisingly few words delivering a big impact.
"Play Something Country"From: 'Hillbilly Deluxe' (2005)
Do you know the inspiration for this bawdy, up-tempo, country-lovin' song? Country singer Gretchen Wilson. Can you see it now? In the tune, a bold, whiskey-drinking woman bursts into a bar, puts her hand on her hip and demands country music. The name-dropping of such stars like Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban and Patsy Cline is just the icing on this hit-making cake. "Play Something Country" was the duo's 20th and final No. 1 hit -- and it ensured that Brooks & Dunn went out with a bang.
"Boot Scootin' Boogie"From: 'Brand New Man' (1991)
The duo's fourth single, "Boot Scootin' Boogie" was also Brooks & Dunn's fourth consecutive No. 1 hit on the country charts. After all, who could argue with the upbeat, honky-tonk, utterly country, danceable song? "Boot Scootin' Boogie" was B&D's first crossover hit because, let's be honest, everyone wants to drink a little whiskey and do a little do-si-do'ing. It's a classic tune that will withstand the passage of time.
"Believe"From: 'Hillbilly Deluxe' (2005)
Perhaps its two CMA Awards, for Music Video of the Year and Single of the Year, give a hint: "Believe" captured the hearts of many. Acoustic guitar and, surprisingly, organ provide the backdrop to this ballad, led by Dunn's vocals. The song tells a riveting story about a man who lost his wife and son but never lost hope that there was more to life than his difficult and tragic circumstances. Its powerful lyrics can bring hope to the darkest places, and that's why it's anchored in at the top of this list.