OFFSTAGE: Ronnie Dunn on Garth Brooks’ Advice

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

After the nominations for the ACM Awards are announced each year, there is an influx of artist responses. And so the newly-solo country artist Ronnie Dunn had a few things to say this morning to CMT.com. Mind you, Dunn and his former duo, Brooks & Dunn, are not nominated in any ACM category this year. But he still has an opinion on the way things work — or should work. “I don’t think there’s a definitive process where you go about making it into an awards show or get nominations,” he said. “You just do what you do, and you do it to the best of your ability. And everything else seems to take care of itself.” What a great attitude. You make music, and if you win awards for it, even better. But I think what he’s saying is that you can’t try to win the awards. That has to be secondary. Dunn also talked about e-mailing back and forth with Garth Brooks, who was doling out advice to him. “He was wishing me well with the solo thing and he said, ‘Just remember this: Be nice to people and do good music, and this business will take care of you,’” Dunn said of Brooks’ e-mail. That’s sound advice for anyone in country music, I think.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.