On This Day: Brooks & Dunn Play Their ‘Final’ Show in 2010

by Clayton Edwards

Brooks & Dunn are one of the biggest duos in country music history. Songs like “Neon Moon,” and “My Maria,” were all over the radio. Their debut album, Brand New Man, produced four chart-topping country singles. From there, the duo went on to superstardom. However, they decided to call it quits after twenty years of selling out stadiums and dropping some of the hottest singles in the business.

In 2009, Brooks & Dunn announced that they were ready to hang up their spurs. However, they weren’t going to leave their fans high and dry. Instead, they embarked on their aptly named Last Rodeo Tour. On this day in 2010, country’s dynamic duo played the last show of that tour. At that time, everyone believed that it would be the last time they shared a stage.

Brooks & Dunn played their “final” show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. According to Taste of Country, Reba McEntire joined them to sing “Cowgirls Don’t Cry,” to help them say goodbye to the industry. In a full-circle moment, they played “Brand New Man,” to close the show. That was their first single, their first number one, and the title track to their debut album. It was a symbolic and emotional moment for everyone in attendance.

Why Did Brooks & Dunn Split?

For years, both Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn said their split was a joint decision. They never addressed any friction within the duo. Fans, on the other hand, were left to speculate about what “really,” happened. Luckily, Kix Brooks sat down with Outsider’s Marty Smith to set the record straight.

Brooks told Marty that the tension between him and Ronnie Dunn had been brewing for quite some time. After all, they were both solo artists before they formed the group. In fact, being a duo wasn’t even their idea. Someone pitched them the idea and they basically said, “Sure, why not?”

However, two decades of compromise started to wear on both artists. This was especially true for Ronnie Dunn, according to Brooks. Kix said, “I had songs that he didn’t like. [Dunn] had songs that I felt we could do better. He didn’t want to hear that and I didn’t either. He just said, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore,’ and I said, ‘great’”

That was it. No yelling, no throwing things, or wrecking a studio. They were just done.

However, there was no bad blood between Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn. Brooks said, “We never said ‘when Hell freezes over,’ or any of that crap like the Eagles did. We just needed to take a deep breath.”

Today, the two old pals are back at it. In yet another full-circle moment, Brooks & Dunn are kicking off their Reboot Tour tonight.