Former Tulsan Ronnie Dunn of the recently split country music duo Brooks & Dunn already is working on a solo album that could be out early next year, reports CMT.com.
He is also producing the project, which will be released on Arista Nashville, Brooks & Dunn’s longtime label.
In addition, Dunn has recorded a solo track, a cover of “She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinkin’ Doubles),” for “Country Strong,” an upcoming film starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw, according to CMT. “She’s Actin’ Single” is a Wayne Carson Thompson song that was a No. 1 hit for Gary Stewart in 1975.
The “Country Strong” soundtrack will drop Oct. 26, while the movie will hit theaters nationwide Jan. 7. The film is drama centered on a rising country-music songwriter (Garrett Hedlund) who feels sparks fly when he meets a fallen star (Paltrow), according to IMDB. Together, they mount his ascent and her comeback, which leads to romantic complications involving her husband/manager (McGraw) and a beauty queen-turned-singer (Leighton Meester).
Dunn and Louisiana native Kix Brooks ended their two-decade musical partnership after a summer tour that included shows in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. Both Dunn and Brooks started out in the music industry as solo artists, though neither found success approaching the scale of what they achieved as a duo.
Brooks, who as a child was neighbor to Johnny Horton, moved to Nashville in the early ‘80s and found success as a songwriter but not a solo performer.
A Coleman, Texas native, Dunn relocated to Tulsa, where he fronted the house band at the popular nightspot Duke’s Country and then broke into the national spotlight by winning the Marlboro Talent Competition. His original songs “Neon Moon” and “Boot Scootin’ Boogie,” which became No. 1 hits on the duo’s first album, got the attention of Nashville.
According to CMT, Dunn made a modest name for himself as a solo artist in the early ’80s when he recorded on the independent Churchill label. There he scored two chart singles: “It’s Written All Over Your Face” in 1983 and “She Put the Sad in All His Songs” in 1984. Neither song came from his pen, and both peaked at No. 59 on Billboard’s country chart.
Their partnership started out with the record industry equivalent of a blind date. Oklahoma native Tim DuBois, then-head of the Arista Nashville label, paired them as a duo and assigned them to write a song together. In one day, they penned “Brand New Man” and “My Next Broken Heart,” the other two chart-toppers from their 1991 debut. It was an auspicious beginning, and the partners continued to find success with a combination of rollicking honky-tonk stompers with tender power ballads.
Brooks & Dunn eventually the best-selling duo in country music history; in fact, they have sold more records than any musical duo in any genre, including Simon & Garfunkel, according to AllMusic.com. They have moved more than 30 million albums, scored 23 No. 1 hits and won more than 80 major industry awards. The pair is the most honored artist in ACM history, with 27 trophies to their name, including 16 top vocal duo titles and three entertainer of the year awards.
Dunn told the Associated Press back in spring that he and Brooks woudl be going their separate ways, but woudl continue to make music as solo artists.
“I’m going to buy a secondhand van and get a rusty old horse trailer, throw me some band equipment in it, and go find me a beer joint and keep singing,” he said.