Brooks & Dunn Call Their Hiatus a 'Good Break' Ahead of Release of 'Reboot'

Brooks & Dunn broke the hearts of millions of country music fans when they announced almost a decade ago that the duo, made up of Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn, were bidding farewell to their joint music careers to focus on solo projects. The guys, who have since reunited, first for their Reba, Brooks & Dunn: Together in Vegas residency, followed by their upcoming Reboot album, reveal how important their hiatus was for them, personally and professionally.

"It's probably the longest extended time either one of us had had to deal with real life," Dunn confessed to CMT. "I learned how to take orders from my wife, not that I never did. But I was just never there enough to get under the regimen. I learned how to sit for extended periods of time and go 'I understand, honey, yes. I'm listening,'"

Brooks & Dunn never imagined, when a record label executive suggested they record a few songs together, that they would have the successful, and enduring, career they did. But while they are grateful for their success, the 20 years they spent together left them exhausted, in every way.

"I think it was a good break for both of us, you know?" Brooks acknowledged. "There's stuff you want to do, and when you are on the 'hillbilly treadmill,' there's really no time. There wasn't any time off for us. We went twenty years without stopping. We were blessed with our first four singles going No. 1, which all of sudden you're on the rocket ship then.

"Then you get great crews and a great band put together, and you can afford to do the things you always wanted to do as a career. In order to keep 'em, you keep going," he continued. "You can stop, but then you've got to start over. We never wanted to because we never believed it was going to go to the next month, much less the next ten years."

If Brooks & Dunn never believed their career would stand the test of time, then they most certainly didn't believe they would achieve the highest recognition possible in country music – an induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. The pair will join Jerry Bradley and Ray Stevens in being inducted later this year, a fact both men are still having trouble believing.

"[It's] a lot of give and take," Dunn told "A lot of compromise, and it's somehow worked. It's like a marriage that lasts for a long time. You probably get to the end of that trail, and we've been married for what? 26 years.

"I think the biggest thing's probably having separate buses," he added with a laugh.

Brooks & Dunn's induction ceremony will be held in October. The event is closed to the public.

Reboot, which includes collaborations with Luke Combs, Kacey Musgraves, LANCO and more, will be available on April 5. Pre-order the record on their website.


Photo Credit: Getty images/Jason Kempin