Ronnie Dunn, best known for his work with Brooks & Dunn, is working on a solo album that may be out early next year. He is also producing the project, according to Renee Bell, executive vice president of A&R at Sony Music Nashville.
Dunn’s manager, Clarence Spalding, confirms that the album will be on Arista Nashville, Brooks & Dunn’s longtime label, which is a division of Sony.
“He’s recording two or three things,” Spalding tells CMT.com. “He’s mixing them and playing them for people. He’s making the determination of when he’s ready to go.”
Dunn has recorded a solo track for Country Strong, the upcoming film starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw. His contribution is a cover of “She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinkin’ Doubles),” a Wayne Carson Thompson song that was a No. 1 hit for Gary Stewart in 1975. Country Strong will be released nationwide on Jan. 7. The soundtrack album arrives on Oct. 26.
Dunn, 57, made a modest name for himself as a solo artist in the early 1980s when he recorded for 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. Both songs, neither of which he wrote, peaked at No. 59 on Billboard’s country chart.
Kix Brooks, who teamed up with Dunn in 1991, also charted two minor singles in the ’80s, both from his own pen.
Brooks & Dunn proved to be an inspired pairing from the start. Their first four singles all went No. 1, aided immeasurably by their exciting and well-crafted music videos.
During this time, Dunn came into his own as a songwriter. He and Brooks, along with Don Cook, co-wrote their first two No. 1’s — “Brand New Man” and “My Next Broken Heart.” Dunn wrote the next three chart-toppers — “Neon Moon,” “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” and “She Used to Be Mine” — all on his own. He also quickly asserted himself as the act’s lead vocalist.
Over the next several years, he would write or share the writing on such No. 1’s as “That Ain’t No Way to Go,” “She’s Not the Cheatin’ Kind,” “Little Miss Honky Tonk,” “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone,” “A Man This Lonely,” “Red Dirt Road,” “It’s Getting Better All the Time” and “Play Something Country.”
Before splitting up this year at the end of their triumphant Last Rodeo tour, Brooks & Dunn could look back on winning two Grammys for best country vocal performances and 14 CMA awards for vocal duo of the year. In 1996, they were voted CMA’s entertainer of the year.
They performed their final show in Nashville on Sept. 2.
In the course of their career, Brooks & Dunn sold more than 30 million albums and were one of the biggest concert draws of their era. Dunn has won BMI awards for 25 of his songs.