Happy Birthday Kix Brooks: Celebrate the Brooks & Dunn Star’s Biggest Moments

by Jim Casey
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Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn celebrated his 66th birthday on May 12, 2021, a perfect opportunity for Outsider to celebrate the Hall of Famer’s highlights.

There aren’t enough superlatives to describe Brooks & Dunn.

Ronnie Dunn and Kix Brooks are the most-awarded duo in country music history. Brooks & Dunn are a Top 20 Best-Selling Country Artist/Act of All Time. The only duo—any genre—that has sold more albums is Simon & Garfunkel. The guys have seven No. 1 albums, 20 No. 1 singles, and an additional 19 Top 10 hits.

We can keep going, but in the interest of brevity, we’ll move on to some of KB’s best moments.

Brand New

Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn were both solo singer/songwriters in the 1980s before they joined forces to form Brooks & Dunn. They busted out of the chute with their 1991 debut album, Brand New Man. The album, which has been certified 6X Platinum by the RIAA, was buoyed by four consecutive No. 1 singles: “Brand New Man,” “My Next Broken Heart,” “Neon Moon,” and “Boot Scootin’ Boogie.”

Penned by Kix, Ronnie, and Don Cook, “Brand New Man” started it all. You can’t talk about B&D without their debut single.

Kix Brooks Sizzles

You don’t sell the steak, you sell the sizzle. And Brooks & Dunn sizzled.

Ronnie Dunn has the golden voice of an angel. Seriously, Ronnie has a generational voice. So Kix often gets overlooked in comparison, but Kix can freakin’ sing. And we’ll get to that in a moment.

Now, what Kix notably gets credited for—besides his songwriting—is B&D’s sizzle. On stage. Videos. Interviews. Guitar. The dude sizzled, especially his attire. Look no further than the black and red flame shirt that Kix donned on the cover of the duo’s sophomore album, Hard Workin’ Man. Of course, he also sported the shirt in the title track’s video. The flame shirt deserves to be in the Smithsonian next to Patsy Cline’s pink stage-worn outfit.

Don’t Miss This

With Ronnie out front on lead vocals, Brooks & Dunn scored chart-toppers left and right on their first three albums: “Brand New Man,” “My Next Broken Heart,” “Neon Moon,” “Boot Scootin’ Boogie,” “She Used to Be Mine,” “That Ain’t No Way to Go,” “She’s Not the Cheatin’ Kind,” and “Little Miss Honky Tonk.”

In 1995, the duo dropped “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone,” their third single featuring Kix on lead vocals. While “Lost and Found” (No. 6) and “Rock My World (Little Country Girl)” (No. 2) were bona fide hits, Kix scored a No. 1 single as the duo’s lead vocalist with “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone.”

Renaissance Man

Take Kix Brooks out of the Brooks & Dunn equation for just a minute.

On his own, Kix has appeared in and produced a number of movies. Since 2004, Kix has hosted American Country Countdown With Kix Brooks (he was named National On-Air Personality of the Year at the 56th ACM Awards in 2021). Kix has penned his own cookbook. And yeah, the guy knows wine as the co-owner of Arrington Vineyards.

Kix Joins the Hall of Fame

No surprise. Brooks & Dunn were formally inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2019.

Longtime friend Reba McEntire presented Kix and Ronnie with their HOF medallions at the ceremony, while Brothers Osborne, Luke Bryan, and Trisha Yearwood honored the tandem with performances.

During the announcement ceremony prior to their induction, Kix said, “Like most of the people in this room, I’m just a fan of country music. I grew up being a fan of country music. I’m still a fan of country music. And that’s why we dedicate our lives to doing this. The fact that we would be in the Hall of Fame just seems—that’s just not something you even think about.”

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