The newest exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame belongs to Brooks & Dunn, the most successful duo in country music history. Members Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn were on hand for the exhibit's unveiling on Thursday, Aug. 8 in Nashville, telling the assembled crowd that they had those who had supported them along the way to thank for where they are now.
"There's such a big machine of support, people that put us here," Dunn said. "It's hard to stand up here and take a lot of credit for much."
The exhibit, dubbed "Brooks & Dunn: Kings of Neon," chronicles Brooks and Dunn's lives from their childhoods to their respective solo careers to their merging to become one of country music's iconic acts.
When Brooks & Dunn formed in 1990 after being introduced by country music executive Tim DuBois, the duo found instant success, with their first single, "Brand New Man," heading straight to No. 1. Since then, they've earned 41 Top 10 hits, sold over 26 million records and won numerous awards.
"For a couple of guys who didn't know each other from Adam, didn't really want to do this, it just didn't make any sense," Brooks said. "We'd both been around the block for a long time but we were also pretty broke, and when somebody throws any kind of opportunity in front of you in the music business, you generally take it and try to make the best of it."
"When 'Brand New Man' was a number one hit, we knew we'd really screwed up," he joked. "We've gotta do something now — we're in business. We just kept putting one foot in front of the other, figuring out who each other was, trying to get along."
The exhibit features several of their stage outfits as well as instruments, like a "Neon Moon"-themed blue guitar built for Dunn by the Gibson Custom Shop and a Neon Circus & Wild West-themed Les Paul electric guitar built for Brooks by Gibson Custom Shop's Master Luthier, Bruce Kunkel, as well as handwritten lyrics, Dunn's stars and stripes Harley Davidson motorcycle and the duo's 5/8th-scale Legends race car from the '90s along with the suits they wore to drive it.
The exhibit also covers the solo projects embarked on by both Brooks and Dunn during their break from releasing music as a duo before they reunited and embarked on a still-in-session Las Vegas residency with Reba McEntire in 2014.
One of the most arresting parts of the exhibit was a display of awards received by the duo between 1992 and 2006 including CMA Awards, ACM Awards and Grammy Awards, all lined up and shining behind the glass.
"It's all a byproduct of this amazing experience that we got to have," Brooks remarked of the duo's accolades. "Writing these songs and all the times we spent together with the people in this business...it's a big freaking duo."0comments
Brooks & Dunn will be back at the hall of fame in October when they are officially inducted into the prestigious institution.
Photo Credit: Getty / Jason Kempin