Brooks & Dunn Exhibit Coming To The Country Music Hall Of Fame And Museum
‘Brooks & Dunn: Kings of Neon’ opens August 9.
Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn; Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images
The iconic career of Brooks & Dunn will soon be highlighted in an exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
The Country Music Hall of Fame members-elect will be the stars of the exhibition Brooks & Dunn: Kings of Neon, opening August 9, 2019, and running through July 19, 2020. The exhibit will highlight Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn’s early solo careers, tell the story of what brought them together as a duo and highlight their career as the best-selling country duo of all time.
“The combined talents of Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn have left an indelible mark on country music history. For nearly three decades, the duo’s skillful songwriting, dynamic recordings and rowdy performances have made Brooks & Dunn an enduring success with lasting influence on the genre and its contemporary hit-makers,” said Kyle Young, CEO, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. “The museum looks forward to exploring the journey of two struggling solo artists brought together by fate and creative vision to become country music’s best-selling duo of all time.”
After Arista Records executive Tim DuBois paired Kix and Ronnie together, Brooks & Dunn exploded onto the country music scene with their 1991 debut album, Brand New Man. They went on to earn four consecutive chart-topping singles from that album and sold over three million copies in their first year. The duo’s success continued for many years. By the time they announced a hiatus in 2010, they earned 41 top 10 singles, sold 26 million records and won countless awards, including two Grammys, 19 CMA Awards and 24 ACM Awards. They returned to the scene in 2014 with a Las Vegas residency with their longtime friend and frequent collaborator Reba McEntire.
Earlier this year, Brooks & Dunn turned heads with the release of Reboot, an album full of collaborations with some of today’s hottest country music stars. Teaming up with artists such as Luke Combs, Ashley McBryde and Brett Young, the duo re-recorded some of their biggest hits with a contemporary twist. The album debuted atop Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart and earned them their 10th Billboard 200 Top 10 album.
“It’s so cool to have an exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum,” Dunn shared in a release. “When you’re reminded that what you have created is part of history like that, it’s beyond humbling. I’m so, so proud.”
“Ronnie and I are really fired up about having an exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum,” added Brooks. “We’ve shared some of our favorite things with the museum over the years, and it’s going to be really special for us to revisit those moments from our career, especially in a format like the Hall that reaches all generations of fans.”
According to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the exhibition will include the following items:
- Dozens of awards presented to Brooks & Dunn between 1992 and 2006, including Grammys, CMA and ACM awards
- Neon Circus & Wild West Show-themed Les Paul electric guitar, built for Brooks by the Gibson Custom Shop’s Master Luthier, Bruce Kunkel, in 2001. The instrument features rope-shaped binding and ornamentation; a hand-carved and painted cowgirl on the lower bout; carved volume and tone knobs in the shape of horned toads; mother-of-pearl cowgirl inlays on the fingerboard and headstock and a sterling silver pickguard engraved, “Brooks & Dunn, Neon Circus and Wild West Show”
- Red cowboy boots decorated with steer’s head inlays, worn by Dunn when he was around five years old
- Hand-tooled leather guitar strap made for Brooks by Hutch’s Custom Saddlery and embellished with oak leaf and acorn imagery and the names of Brooks’ wife, Barb, and their children, Molly and Eric
- “Neon Moon”-themed archtop electric guitar with custom blue finish and crescent moon inlay, presented to Dunn in 2001 by the Gibson Custom Shop
- Racing suits with steer’s head logos, worn by Brooks and Dunn when they drove 5/8th-scale Legends race cars in the 1990s
- Early draft lyrics to “Red Dirt Road,” written by Dunn
To celebrate the opening of Brooks & Dunn: Kings of Neon, the duo and their longtime manager will participate in a public interview at the CMA Theater inside the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Tickets, which include museum admission, will be available here, beginning Friday, July 19, 2019, at 10 a.m. CT.
This spring, the Country Music Association announced that Brooks & Dunn were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. The duo will officially be inducted in October.
Lauren Jo Black
Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.