There’s never been a duo quite like Brooks & Dunn. Originally staking out separate careers as solo artists, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn formed a pair at the suggestion of Arista Records founder Tim DuBois in 1990 and became the most successful duo in country music history.
Certified six-times platinum, their 1992 debut, Brand New Man, spawned four No. 1 singles and shot the duo to immediate acclaim. They soon began to see unprecedented success, releasing an astounding six additional platinum-certified albums (not including greatest hits collections) and topping the Billboard country albums chart seven separate times.
Tied with Vince Gill as the most awarded act in CMA Awards history, they won the title of Best Vocal Duo every year from 1992 to 2006 with the exception of 2000, when Montgomery Gentry pulled off a surprise upset. Throughout their decades-spanning career, they’ve hewn mostly to a polished and radio-friendly version of honky-tonk, with Dunn taking the lead on all but one of their most iconic tracks.
Ahead of the Reboot Tour kicking off next month — named for the 2019 collaborative album that featured fresh takes on many of their beloved songs — The Boot looks back at all 20 of the legendary duo’s No. 1 hits.
Both incredibly popular and deeply bland, “Only in America” will permanently be associated with the deluge of patriotic country songs that followed 9/11, despite being released several months before the attacks.
Country-rocker Gretchen Wilson was the muse for “Play Something Country,” the song about a “full-grown queen bee looking for honey” that gave the duo their twentieth and final No. 1 in 2005.
Rowdy as it may be, this 1994 number has gotten somewhat lost in the shuffle of the duo’s numerous barroom-themed hits.
This 1998 single is memorable mostly because it provides a rare moment (outside of “My Maria,” of course) for Dunn’s falsetto to shine in all its glory.
One of the more pop-leaning tracks of Brooks & Dunn’s career, “The Long Goodbye” is the most convincing case the duo ever made for themselves as adult contemporary stars.
The duo unleashed their potential as pop-rock gods on this 2001 hit, giving Carlos Santana by way of Eiffel 65.
The dramatic string arrangement is perfectly suited to this wrenching ballad about overcoming the pain of lost love.
In a truly iconic moment for 90s country, this duet with Reba McEntire was the lead single for both Brooks & Dunn’s If You See Her and McEntire’s If You See Him.
Dunn only has himself to blame on this rueful cut from 1993’s Hard Workin’ Man, which culminates in a memorably mournful guitar solo.
The fourth single from 1998’s Borderline, this stunning ballad provides pure country drama.
Divorce rates were climbing when Roger Miller wrote “Husbands and Wives” in 1966, painting a bleak portrait of marriage in America. Three decades later, Brooks & Dunn topped the charts with a faithful cover, proving that concerns over love’s longevity remained as relevant as ever.
Dunn chides a lover for leaving without grace in this emotive 1993 track.
One of the duo’s very last chart-toppers, this 2003 hit about the pleasures of rural life neatly encapsulates many of the preoccupations of country radio in the aughts.
A modest pop hit for progressive country artist B.W. Stevenson in 1973, “My Maria” is now synonymous with Brooks & Dunn, whose 1996 cover version netted the group their second-ever Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.
The lead single off 1994’s Waitin’ On Sundown, “She’s Not the Cheatin’ Kind” tells the story of a woman who leaves her partner after being “cheated one too many times.” My advice: don’t settle!
A steel-heavy barroom romp, “My Next Broken Heart” was the second of an impressive four No. 1s to emerge from Brand New Man in 1991.
Widely considered to have resuscitated line dancing in the early 90s, “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” is one of the duo’s staple songs. One person who wasn’t impressed by the song’s incredible popularity? Glen Campbell.
The duo’s only chart-topping hit to feature Brooks on lead vocals is also one of their finest songs, paring a resigned vocal performance from Brooks with a pristinely subdued arrangement.
Brooks & Dunn made history in 1991 by becoming the second band ever to have its debut single reach No. 1 on the country charts (Diamond Rio beat them to the punch with “Meet Me in the Middle” earlier that year), and it’s all thanks to “Brand New Man.”
A staple of 90s country playlists and surprise hit on TikTok, “Neon Moon” is simply one of the most infectious heartbreak songs ever recorded.