Brooks & Dunn's Ronnie Dunn tells us why the CMA Awards are just a blur of excitement Getty Images/Rick Diamond
Getty Images/Rick Diamond

Life seems to move pretty fast for most country stars, so big nights like the CMA Awards can get lost in the blur between playing shows and recording albums. At least, that’s how it was for Ronnie Dunn in Brooks & Dunn’s heyday.

During their run from 1991 to 2009, Brooks & Dunn racked up 50 CMA Awards nominations and 19 wins, including entertainer of the year in 1996 and a whopping 14 vocal duo of the year trophies. The CMA Awards ceremony often came in the middle of their hectic schedule on the road, and Ronnie tells Rare Country, “There are some I don’t even remember being there. You’re right in the middle of a tour and blowing and going and you just land and dress up and sit in the audience. If they call your name, great. If they don’t, you’re back on the bus to the next show.”

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It was a different story in the beginning, though. After trying for years to launch respective solo careers, Ronnie Dunn and Kix Brooks found huge success from the start as a duo. That quickly translated into big wins at the CMA Awards.

“The first few were just over-the-top,” Ronnie recalls of his early CMA Awards experiences. “The first couple, it’s hard to keep it together. You’re just so glad to be there. You’ve worked for so long to get there. And then when they call your name. Super Bowl! Really? All right!”

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Brooks & Dunn went on to host the CMA Awards from 2004 to 2006. They’ll reunite for a big performance on The 50th Annual CMA Awards airing live at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, Nov. 2 on ABC.

Hunter Kelly is a senior correspondent for Rare Country. Follow him on Twitter @Hunterkelly.
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