American country duo, Brooks & Dunn have had their fair share of hits during their longstanding career in country music.
The honky-tonk, mainstream country voices of the two combine together to make music that not only repopularized line dancing but also topped the charts.
The song “My Maria” was the top country song of 1996. It was also the cover of the B.W. Stevenson song. The song was No.1 on the U.S. Country Music Chart and won a Grammy for Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1997.
So, what’s the story behind the widely successful cover song?
Brooks & Dunn Version of ‘Maria’
Well, the song tells the story of a man who is infatuated with a woman named Maria.
“When she’s around she takes my blues away / Sweet Maria the sunlight surely hurts my eyes / I’m a lonely dreamer on a highway in the skies.”
The song was co-written by B.W. Stevenson and Daniel Moore in 1973. When Stevenson sang his song it reached the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 and No.1 on the Easy Listening Charts.
When the duo consisting of Ronnie Dunn and Kix Brooks grabbed it, the song secured a cozy spot on the country music charts instead.
Since recording the song in the ’90s, Brooks & Dunn have since performed it again. On the album “Reboot” the duo collaborated with a number of younger artists. One of which was Thomas Rhett, who is on the “My Maria” track.
Going Their Own Ways
Although the duo announced in 2010 that they were going their own ways, they seemed to have gravitated back toward one another. They did a 2010 tour that was very fittingly named “The Last Rodeo” before splitting up their duo. Since then, they toured with Reba McEntire in 2015 and performed together at the CMAs.
According to People, the reasoning for going separate directions was not due to any animosity. Instead, the two said that they never even had a fight and are more like brothers than anything else.
“Brooks recalled a point while putting together their new album when they just looked at each other and said, ‘You know what? I just think we’ve just kind of exhausted it,'” the duo said at one point in their career according to People.
Since then, both artists have recorded as solo artists for Arista Nashville. Brooks released “New to This Town” in 2012 and Dunn released a self-titled album in 2011.
While the pair had quite the charisma as a duo, enough to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, they also had their shining moments as individual singer/songwriters.