Country duo Brooks & Dunn to break up

Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:07pm EDT
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Country music duo Brooks & Dunn, whose honky-tonk bravado catapulted them to the top of the charts for almost two decades, said on Monday they would break up after a farewell tour next year.

Singer/guitarists Kix Brooks, 54, and Ronnie Dunn, 56, said in a statement that "it's just time" for the split, which surprised music industry observers.

"After 20 years of making music and riding this trail together, we have agreed as a duo that it's time call it a day," they said.

"This ride has been everything and more than we could ever have dreamed.... We owe it all to you, the fans. If you hear rumors, don't believe them, it's just time."

Dates have yet to be announced for next year's concert outing, dubbed The Last Rodeo Tour. It will be preceded next month by a hits record, "#1 ... and then some."

Brooks & Dunn first hit the charts in 1991, and went on to become the biggest-selling duo in country music history. They sold 22.3 million albums in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, which tracks retail sales.

They topped the U.S. country singles charts 20 times with such tunes as "Brand New Man," the title track from their debut 1991 album; and "Only in America," a patriotic 2001 anthem used by both parties during election campaigns. Brooks & Dunn performed at various Republican events, but only Dunn was outwardly a supporter of the party.

"KICKED IN THE HEAD"

The duo also won two Grammys, and dozens of honors from both the Country Music Association Awards and the Academy of Country Music Awards.   Continued...

 
<p>Kix Brooks (L) and Ronnie Dunn, of music duo Brooks and Dunn, pose after receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame August 4, 2008. REUTERS/Phil McCarten</p>