The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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August 24, 2012

Lone singer: Dunn finds success in solo career

JOPLIN, Mo. — Separating from a well-known duo has seemed to work for Ronnie Dunn.

Formerly one half of the popular duo Brooks & Dunn, Dunn decided to end his “boot scootin’ ways” in 2010 and go solo, reinventing both himself and his musical career. He will perform at 8 p.m. tonight at Downstream Casino.

“I have to say,” Dunn said in a recent interview, “I’m sure enjoying feeling ‘new’ all over again.”

To that end, the Texas native released his self-titled debut album last year. The album’s first single, “Bleed Red,” reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Other singles, “Cost of Livin’” and “Let the Cowboy Rock,” quickly followed. In its first week, the album sold 45,000 copies in the U.S.

“Yeah, you really could say that I have been waiting my whole life to make this album,” Dunn said of the album that took more than two years to piece together. Many of the songs seem to serve as a road map of Dunn’s professional singing career. “Like one of the songs on the album says, ‘We all bleed red,’ and frankly, there’s a whole lot of my blood all over these particular tracks.”

Ironically, Dunn launched his musical career as a solo artist. He charted two minor songs in 1984 with “It’s Written All Over Your Face” and “She Put the Sad in All His Songs.” Six years later, Dunn met up with Kix Brooks to form Brooks & Dunn, and country music history was made.

The duo’s first album, “Brand New Man,” quickly followed in 1991. Between then and 2010, the band sold more than 30 million records and had 20 No. 1 singles on Billboard. It is looked upon by country music fans as one of the most consistently successful acts on the concert circuit.

Dunn’s live experience includes a mix of songs both new and old, including former hits like “Rock My World (Little Country Girl),” “That Ain’t No Way to Go,” “Red Dirt Road” and “How Long Gone.”

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