Brooks & Dunn’s ‘My Maria’: Why Ronnie Had Second Thoughts About Recording the Song

by Katie Maloney
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - JANUARY 13: Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn perform at the Ryman Auditorium on January 13, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Undoubtedly, “My Maria” by Brooks & Dunn is a huge hit. Since its release in 1996, fans have considered it one of the greatest loves songs in country music. The song is about a man singing to a woman he loves named Maria. During the song, Dunn sings, “My Maria, there were some blue and sorrow times. Just my thoughts about you bring back my peace of mind. Gypsy lady, you’re a miracle work for me. You set my soul free, like a ship sailing on the sea.”

Many consider the song to be one of Ronnie Dunn’s most career-defining vocal performances. The duo released the cover song in 1996 as the first single from their album, Borderline. Not only did the song become an instant hit, spending 105 weeks on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart and peaking in the number one spot. But it also earned Brooks & Dunn their second Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Vocal Group or Duo. In conclusion, “My Maria” is a great song.

Nevertheless, Ronnie Dunn was hesitant to record the song.

Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn Didn’t Want to Record ‘My Maria’

Luckily, the song paid off big time. ‘My Maria’ topped the charts and is a fan-favorite to this day. However, Kix Brooks had to convince Ronnie Dunn to record the song. The two talked about how the song came to be during a recent interview.

“I was hesitant to do it because I thought, ‘Oh man, it’s just that falsetto thing,'” said Dunn. “It’s a rock song, in my opinion. And I was very much wrong.”

Brooks agreed that Dunn was wrong in thinking that the song wasn’t for him.

“I’ve heard him sing probably more than anybody at this point and I knew, man, if I could just convince him, can we please cut it one more time?” said Brooks. “And it was weeks after that that it took, because he didn’t want to cut it in the first place, and to his credit, he went back and did it again. Man, I was so excited to hear that record the second time.”

So, Brooks & Dunn fans can thank Brooks for convincing Dunn to record one of the greatest songs on their setlist. If the two ever release new music together, we hope Dunn listens to Brooks’s hunches about songs again.