Ronnie Dunn

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Ronnie Dunn
Dunn in March 2018
Dunn in March 2018
Background information
Birth nameRonald Gene Dunn
Born (1953-06-01) June 1, 1953 (age 70)
Coleman, Texas, U.S.
OriginTulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.[1]
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • musician
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active1983–present
Member ofBrooks & Dunn

Ronald Gene Dunn (born June 1, 1953) is an American country music singer-songwriter and record executive. Starting in 2011, Dunn has worked as a solo artist following the temporary dissolution of Brooks & Dunn. He released his self-titled debut album for Arista Nashville on June 7, 2011, reaching the Top 10 with its lead-off single "Bleed Red". In 2013, after leaving Arista Nashville in 2012, Dunn founded Little Will-E Records. On April 8, 2014, Ronnie Dunn released his second solo album, Peace, Love, and Country Music through his Little Will-E Records. On November 11, 2016, he released his third album Tattooed Heart on NASH Icon label. His fourth album Re-Dunn was released on January 10, 2020.

In 2019, Dunn was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.[2]

Early life[edit]

Dunn was born in Coleman, Texas, and attended 13 schools in his first 12 years of school[citation needed]. He began school in New Mexico and finished his formal education at Abilene Christian University in 1975 as a psychology major. While playing bass guitar and singing with bands in clubs in the Abilene, Texas, area, the university gave him the choice of either quitting the band or the university [citation needed]. He left the university, then moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for a chance at the country music scene. He lived there for many years while drawing much inspiration from local honky tonks such as Tulsa City Limits, prominently-featured in the music video for Brooks & Dunn's hit "Boot Scootin' Boogie". While in college, he served as a music and youth minister at Avoca Baptist Church in Avoca, Texas[citation needed].

Musical career[edit]

Brooks & Dunn[edit]

Ronnie Dunn and Kix Brooks

Dunn began his musical career as a solo artist. He charted two minor singles with Churchill/MCA Records: in 1983, he released "It's Written All Over Your Face", and in 1984, "She Put the Sad in All His Songs". In 1990, he and Kix Brooks formed Brooks & Dunn. In 1991, they released their first album, Brand New Man, certified 6× platinum by the RIAA. Brooks & Dunn released 12 studio albums, two greatest hits albums, and a Christmas album.[3]

Brooks & Dunn sold over 30 million albums,[4] had twenty number-one singles on Billboard, and were one of the most-consistently successful acts on the concert circuit. In 2009, they announced they were temporarily disbanding in 2010.

On December 3, 2014, Brooks & Dunn reunited, and along with Reba McEntire, performed a series of concerts throughout the summer and fall of 2015.

2011–12: Debut solo album and departure from Sony[edit]

Dunn in April 2010

In late 2010, Dunn announced that he was working on a solo album. The album's first single, "Bleed Red", was released to country radio on January 29, 2011, and debuted at number 30 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for the week ending February 19, 2011, and ended as a Top 10, his first of his solo career. Dunn's self-titled album Ronnie Dunn was released on June 7, 2011. The second single from the album, "Cost of Livin'", was released on June 6, 2011, and debuted at number 56 on the country chart. It peaked at number 19, followed by "Let the Cowboy Rock" at number 31.

The album debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums, as well as number 5 on the Billboard 200, selling 45,000 copies in its first week in the US.[5]

In June 2012, Ronnie Dunn took to social media to ask his fans what the fourth single on the album should be. Shortly after, Ronnie got a call from the executives at Sony Music saying that his "fb post killed the "Let The Cowboy Rock" single. He then requested for radio to start playing "Once" as the next single. Before the song could be released to radio as a single, he was released from the label.

2013–14: Little Will-E Records and Peace, Love, and Country Music[edit]

In March 2013, Ronnie Dunn previewed the song "Country This" on SoundCloud. On June 4, 2013, Ronnie released the two new tracks, "Country This" and "Kiss You There", exclusively on iTunes. The songs were each previewed for a month on The Highway on Sirius XM.

On July 9, 2013, Dunn announced his new record deal, a joint effort between HitShop Records and his own label Little Will-E Records with HitShop executing radio promotion while Dunn retains personal brand control. The lead-off single for his second solo album, "Kiss You There", was released to country radio on July 29, 2013. After an unsuccessful run with "Kiss You There", Dunn and HitShop Records parted ways.

On November 19, 2013, Dunn released the second single from the forthcoming album, "Wish I Still Smoked Cigarettes". In January 2014 Dunn also released "Grown Damn Man" as a promotional single from the second solo album. The album, Peace, Love and Country Music, was released on April 8, 2014.[6]

2014–2018: Nash Icon record deal and Tattooed Heart[edit]

Ronnie Dunn

On December 1, 2014, Ronnie Dunn began to speculate on his Facebook page that he had signed with the newest imprint of Big Machine Label Group, NASH Icon, but the label never confirmed nor denied. On January 12, 2015, President of Big Machine Scott Borchetta officially announced that Dunn had joined Reba McEntire and Martina McBride making him the third artist to join the roster. Borchetta stated in a press release "Ronnie Dunn has one of the smoothest, most-recognized and most-popular voices of the last twenty-five years in Country music. I'm truly honored to have him join us and take his rightful place as an Icon. Great music is on the way." Dunn also commented in the article saying "This is the best possible scenario that I can imagine. The Big Machine and Cumulus combination is a force, and I am proud to be included in this innovative venture". The press release went on to announce Ronnie Dunn was about to hit the studio to record what is now his third solo album and that the lead-off single of the album was released in early spring of 2015.

The lead single from Dunn's third solo album, "Ain't No Trucks in Texas", was released on July 17, 2015. On April 22, 2016, Dunn announced the second single, "Damn Drunk", on his Facebook page. The song was released August 5, 2016. On August 22, 2016, Dunn announced that the title of his upcoming third solo album will be Tattooed Heart and It released on November 11, 2016.

2019-Present: Reboot and Re-Dunn[edit]

In 2019, Brooks & Dunn returned to the studio for the first time since the release of their 2009 compilation, #1s… and Then Some. The result was a new album, Reboot, a collection of some of Brooks & Dunn's greatest hits re-recorded as duets between the duo and up-and-coming country music stars. The album was released on April 5, 2019. It debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart.

Dunn performed at the 2019 Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum Concert and Induction Ceremony.

Dunn announced in 2019 that he would be releasing a covers album in January 2020. Titled Re-Dunn, the album is a collection of twenty-four classic rock and country covers. A cover of "Amarillo by Morning" was released on September 6, 2019.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Dunn married his wife, Janine, on May 19, 1990; the couple have three children.[8][9]


Ronnie Dunn has 15 Grammy nominations, 24 Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) Million-Airplay awards, and was BMI Country Music Songwriter of the Year in 1996 and 2001. He has 27 ACM awards, winning Top Vocal Duo every year since 1991 except for 2000 (the honor went to Montgomery Gentry), and 2007 and 2009 (the honor went to Sugarland), including three Entertainer of the Year awards and vocal event of the year in 2005, for their hit "Building Bridges" with Vince Gill and Sheryl Crow's background vocals, along with his Single of the Year for his gospel song "Believe". He is a member of the Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas Music Halls of Fame. Brooks and Dunn have more Country Music Association awards and Academy of Country Music awards than any act in the history of country music. Dunn was also the National Anthem singer before Game 3 of the 2011 World Series in Arlington, Texas.


Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions Title
US Country
UK Country
Ronnie Dunn 1 5 20 9
Peace, Love, and Country Music
  • Release date: April 8, 2014
  • Label: Little Will-E Records
  • Formats: CD, music download
Tattooed Heart
  • Release date: November 11, 2016
  • Label: Nash Icon
  • Formats: CD, music download
3 33 90
  • Release date: January 10, 2020
  • Label: Little Will-E Records
  • Formats: CD, music download
17 169
100 Proof Neon
  • Release date: July 29, 2022
  • Label: Little Will-E Records
  • Formats: CD, music download
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US Country
US Country Airplay
1983 "It's Written All Over Your Face" 59
1984 "She Put the Sad in All His Songs" 59
2011 "Bleed Red" 10 62 78 Ronnie Dunn
"Cost of Livin'" 19 86
2012 "Let the Cowboy Rock" 31
2013 "Kiss You There" 60 Peace, Love, and Country Music
"I Wish I Still Smoked Cigarettes"
2015 "Ain't No Trucks in Texas" 42 Tattooed Heart
2016 "Damn Drunk" (featuring Kix Brooks) 42 36
2017 "I Worship the Woman You Walked On" 46
"That's Why They Make Jack Daniels" 51
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Featured singles[edit]

Year Single Artist Peak positions Album
US Country

Country Airplay

CAN Country
1994 "Take These Chains from My Heart" Lee Roy Parnell 17 21 On the Road
2007 "I Don't Want To" Ashley Monroe 37 Satisfied
2009 "Garth Must Be Busy" Cledus T. Judd Polyrically Uncorrect
2014 "Pray for Peace" Reba McEntire Love Somebody
2023 "Rodeo Man" Garth Brooks 26 Time Traveler
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Other appearances[edit]

Year Song Album
2013 "Baby, It's Cold Outside"
(Kelly Clarkson featuring Ronnie Dunn)
Wrapped in Red

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
2011 "Bleed Red" Thien Phan
"Love Owes Me One"
"I Can't Help Myself"[22]
"How Far to Waco"[23]
"Cost of Livin'"[24]
2012 "Let the Cowboy Rock"[25]
2013 "Kiss You There"[26] Sherman Halsey
2014 "You Don't Know Me"
2015 "Ain't No Trucks In Texas" Peter Zavadil
2016 "Damn Drunk" TK McKamy

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Result
2011 Inspirational Country Music Awards Mainstream Inspirational Country Song - "Bleed Red"[27] Nominated
2013 55th Grammy Awards Best Country Song- "Cost of Livin'" Nominated
Best Country Solo Performance- "Cost of Livin'" Nominated


  1. ^ "Ronnie Dunn on Amazon Music". Retrieved April 18, 2020.
  2. ^ "Brooks & Dunn, Ray Stevens to join Country Hall of Fame". March 20, 2019. Archived from the original on March 20, 2019.
  3. ^ Bronson, Fred (June 3, 1995). "They Write the Hits". Billboard. p. 60.
  4. ^ "About". Brooks & Dunn. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  5. ^ "Adele Reclaims No. 1 on Billboard 200, Book of Mormon Makes History". Billboard. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
  6. ^ Freeman, Jon. "Ronnie Dunn Releases "Peace, Love and Country Music"". Country Weekly. Retrieved April 8, 2014.
  7. ^ "Ronnie Dunn Announces Country and Rock Covers Album 'Re-Dunn': 'It's a Passion Project'". Billboard. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  8. ^ Whitaker, Elizabeth. "Ronnie Gene Dunn". The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  9. ^ Wick, Sherri. "Ronnie Dunn & Wife Janine - Living the Dream (Feb. 26, 2018)". Country Fancast. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  10. ^ "Ronnie Dunn Chart History: Top Country Albums". Billboard. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  11. ^ "Ronnie Dunn Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  12. ^ "Canadian Albums - Biggest Jump - June 25, 2011". Billboard. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  13. ^ "The Official Charts - Country Albums - June 18, 2011". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
  14. ^ "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on August 29, 2016.
  15. ^ Bjorke, Matt (March 13, 2017). "Top 10 Country Albums Sales Chart: March 13, 2017". Roughstock.
  16. ^ Bjorke, Matt (March 10, 2020). "Top 10 Country Albums Pure Sales Chart: March 9, 2020". RoughStock. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  17. ^ "Ronnie Dunn Album & Song Chart History - Country Songs". Billboard. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  18. ^ "Ronnie Dunn Album & Song Chart History - Country Airplay". Billboard. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  19. ^ "Ronnie Dunn Album & Song Chart History - Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  20. ^ "Ronnie Dunn Album & Song Chart History - Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  21. ^ Peak chart positions for featured singles on the Billboard Country Songs:
  22. ^ "I Can't Help Myself - Ronnie Dunn | Music Video | VEVO". VEVO. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
  23. ^ "How Far To Waco - Ronnie Dunn | Music Video | VEVO". VEVO. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
  24. ^ "CMT : Videos : Ronnie Dunn: Cost Of Livin'". Country Music Television. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
  25. ^ "CMT : Videos : Ronnie Dunn: Let the Cowboy Rock". Country Music Television. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  26. ^ "CMT : Videos : Ronnie Dunn: Kiss You There". Country Music Television. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
  27. ^ "Carrie Underwood, Justin Moore + More Nominated for 2011 Inspirational Country Awards". Taste of Country. Retrieved September 3, 2011.