Brooks & Dunn came busting outta the chute with their debut album, Brand New Man, on August 13, 1991. The album, which is 30 years old today, was a brand-new, boot-scootin’ opportunity for Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn—and they took full advantage of it.
Singularly, both Kix and Ronnie had been trying to break out as solo artists in the decade prior. When a friend suggested they meet each other, it began a Hall of Fame journey. Kix and Ronnie proved there was power in numbers when they joined forces and signed a record deal with Arista Nashville in 1991. Now, three decades later, they are the most-awarded and best-selling duo in country music history.
New Man, New Men
Brooks & Dunn started their musical journey by releasing the album’s title track in June 1991. As the tune began climbing the chart, B&D dropped their debut album on August 13. Less than one month later, the boys scored their first No. 1 single as “Brand New Man” reached the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart on September 6. Of course, that was just the beginning.
“It’d been 10 years since I’d had my first major cut as a songwriter,” said Kix Brooks to Outsider. “Ronnie had been kicking around a long time, too. We’d both had [solo] record deals that didn’t work, and even though we felt good about the music we’d made, when we released ‘Brand New Man,’ what was to follow was simply unthinkable.”
What immediately followed for Brooks & Dunn? Three addition No. 1 singles from their debut album: “My Next Broken Heart,” “Neon Moon,” and “Boot Scootin’ Boogie.” In addition, the album’s fifth single, “Lost and Found,” climbed to No. 6.
The album was a smash. And although it never reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart (it peaked at No. 3), Brand New Man has been certified as 6X Platinum by the RIAA for moving 6 million units. Brand New Man remains Brooks & Dunn’s best-selling album.
Brooks & Dunn Join the Hall
Indeed, Brand New Man was just the beginning for Brooks & Dunn.
The duo went on to score 20 No. 1 singles and an additional 21 Top 10 hits. Seven of their albums reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. With 27.5 million units sold according to the RIAA, Brooks & Dunn are one of the Top 20 best-selling acts in country music history. In fact, only one duo in the history of music (Simon & Garfunkel) sold more albums.
Brooks & Dunn earned two Grammy Awards, 19 CMA Awards, and 29 ACM Awards. The Country Music Hall of Fame inducted Brooks & Dunn in 2019.
And if you want some really great news, Brooks & Dunn have more than 25 tour dates through the end of the year, including a handful with Reba McEntire in Las Vegas.