This year, Brooks & Dunn will reunite for their first Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo performance in nearly a decade. After 20 years of making music together, the Grammy-winning, platinum-selling country duo called it quits in 2010.
In a joint statement, they said it was “time to call it a day” and implored fans not to believe any rumors of animosity. Later that year, in an interview with USA Today, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn admitted that some feelings had been hurt during their time together but insisted that their split was amicable. Both artists wanted to pursue separate endeavors where they wouldn’t have to compromise with one another.
Since then, they have released a combined four solo albums, none of which have enjoyed the level of success reached by countless Brooks & Dunn records. Which is why it shouldn’t have been all that surprising when, in 2015, the duo reunited to perform alongside the legendary Reba McEntire in Las Vegas.
Brooks and Dunn last collaborated on “Damn Drunk,” the second single from Dunn’s latest solo record, 2016's Tattooed Heart. That same year, they performed a few lines together for a medley cover of John Denver’s “Forever Country” for the 50th Annual CMA Awards in 2016.
Their 2010 sendoff, billed as "The Last Rodeo," sold out Reliant Arena. Their upcoming performance at the rebranded NRG Stadium also sold out, a feat accomplished by only three other artists so far this year: George Strait, Chris Stapleton and Cardi B.
With 10 studio albums, five greatest-hits compilations and a Christmas record to their name, Brooks & Dunn will have plenty of source material from which to pull. Unfortunately, due to their robust discography, it’s unlikely they will get around to playing all their hits. Previous performances indicate it’s likely fans will hear “Brand New Man,” “Red Dirt Road” and “Neon Moon.” Here's hoping "My Maria" makes the cut as well.
Last go-round, “You’re Gonna’ Miss Me When I’m Gone” and “The Last Rodeo” saw an emotional Brooks serenading a sold-out Reliant Stadium for what most thought was the final time. This year’s reunion will likely feel like more of a celebration than a send-off, with an underlying hope that the duo just might return next year. And maybe the year after that, too.
Brooks & Dunn are scheduled to perform at 6:45 p.m. on February 27 at NRG Stadium, One NRG Parkway. For more information, call 832-667-1080 or visit rodeohouston.com, $18 to $225.