Ronnie Gene Dunn (born June 1, 1953) is an American country music singer-songwriter and record executive. He is best known for being one-half of Brooks & Dunn. In 2011, Dunn began working as a solo artist following the breakup 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.
Dunn was born in Coleman, Texas, and attended 13 schools in his first 12 years of school. He began school in New Mexico and finished his formal education at Abilene Christian University in 1975 as a psychology major. When he began 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. He chose to leave the university and 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, which is prominently featured in the music video for Brooks & Dunn's hit "Boot Scootin' Boogie". While he was in college, he served as a music and youth minister at Avoca Baptist Church in Avoca, Texas.
Ronnie 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 6x platinum by the RIAA. Brooks & Dunn released 12 studio albums, two greatest hits albums, and a Christmas album.
Brooks & Dunn sold over 30 million records, had 20 number one singles on Billboard, and were one of the most consistently successful acts on the concert circuit. In 2009, they announced that they would disband in 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.
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 June 7, 2012, Dunn posted on Facebook that he had exited Arista.
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 a forthcoming album, "Kiss You There", was released to country radio on July 29, 2013. After an unsuccessful run with "Kiss You There", Ronnie and HitShop Records parted ways.
On November 19, 2013, Dunn released the second single from the forthcoming album, "Wish I Still Smoked Cigarettes".
Ronnie Dunn has over 15 Grammy nominations, has won 24 Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) Million-Airplay awards and BMI Country Music Songwriter of the Year in 1996 and 2001. He has received more than 27 ACM awards for Top Vocal Duo since 1991, except for 2000 when the honor went to Montgomery Gentry and 2009 when 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 won 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.
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