CMT REWIND: Reba McEntire, Brooks & Dunn, Close Out 1991 With “Broken Hearts” Before Mega Success

Reba's "For My Broken Heart" and Brooks & Dunn's "My Next Broken Heart" close out 1991's Billboard No. 1 Country Hits

1991 is a year in country music caught directly amid country music’s mainstream crossover between the countrypolitan and neotraditional eras reigning supreme. It was also a time when multimedia innovation exposed acts to an unprecedented blend of commercial glitz and video glamour that yielded mega-sized success. Thus was the case for two acts who closed out the year at the top of the charts, Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn. Intriguingly, though ultimately different, the former’s single “For My Broken Heart,” and the latter’s hit “My Next Broken Heart” were the last two Billboard Hot Country Song chart No. 1 tracks for the year. Though both songs deal in heartbreak when considering what lay beyond for both acts, it’s a case of the darkest hour being before the brightest dawn for the song’s performers and those around them, too.

The seasoned songwriting trio of Ronnie Dunn, Kix Brooks, and Don Cook penned Brooks & Dunn’s “My Next Broken Heart,” the September-released follow-up to Brand New Man’s title track. Like Brooks & Dunn, Cook was a songwriter affiliated with Tree Publishing who had already achieved a measure of industry success via “Tonight,” a top-five hit for Barbara Mandrell in 1977, plus No. 1 single “Lady Lay Down” a year later for John Conlee.

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