11 Years Ago: Brooks & Dunn Play Their Final Show
Eleven years ago today, on Sept. 2, 2010, Brooks & Dunn played their final show. The duo, made up of Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn, announced their split in 2009, before launching their Last Rodeo Tour, which ended in front of a sold-out crowd at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.
“This is not a funeral,” Brooks said during the concert. “We did show up to party.”
During their final show, Brooks & Dunn performed many of their biggest hits from the previous 20 years, including "Play Something Country," "Put a Girl in It," "You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone," "Red Dirt Road" and "My Maria," among many others. Reba McEntire -- the duo's only celebrity guest during the concert -- joined the pair to perform "Cowgirls Don't Cry." Proceeds from the concert benefited the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
When rumors began to swirl about the reasons behind Brooks & Dunn's breakup, the two men insisted that they weren't calling it quits because of animosity between them.
“Nothing lasts forever,” Brooks said at the time. “We’ve had this process of making records and getting ready for tours year after year … So how do we wrap this thing up? What’s the classy, right way to do it? That’s what we’re focusing on now — a great tour, and we’re gonna call it Last Rodeo ... We’re going to relive 20 years of whatever the heck we’ve been doing!”
After Brooks & Dunn's split, both men embarked on solo careers: Brooks released New to This Town on Arista Nashville in 2012, while Dunn released his own self-titled album in 2011, also on Arista Nashville, followed by Peace, Love and Country Music in 2014, on Little Will-E Records, and Tattooed Heart in 2016. Dunn also earned two Top 20 singles, "Bleed Red" and "Cost of Livin'."
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As it turned out, however, Brooks & Dunn's breakup wasn't permanent. The duo reunited in 2015 for a Las Vegas residency, along with their good friend Reba McEntire -- a residency that has been extended a number of times but will end for good in late 2021. Additionally, on Thursday night (Sept. 2), the pair will begin their 2021 Reboot Tour — their first in more than a decade — in Indianapolis, Ind.
“Honestly, it’s funny. I think one of the real rewards for doing this is, not a day goes by where somebody in a very emotional way says, why don’t y’all get back together?” Brooks & Dunn say. “It’s a soft landing and a soft takeoff.”
In 2019, the duo is being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and have an exhibit on their career open there. More notably, Brooks & Dunn also released a new album, Reboot, on which they teamed up with various country stars (including Kacey Musgraves, Midland and Ashley McBryde) to revisit and re-record older hits. And as far as new music goes, well -- they're not ruling anything out, they told The Boot in April of that year.
"I mentioned something to our manager last week: I said, 'Should we throw [out] a new song or two?' We write all the time. It’s just innately there," Dunn says. "He just spun around and he goes, 'You go see Springsteen, and what do you go see? New stuff?'
"That said," he adds, "yeah, we’re thinking about it. We didn’t get here by following the rules."
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