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Kix Brooks Responds to Ronnie Dunn’s ‘Beginning of the End for B&D’ Remarks

Kix Brooks, Ronnie Dunn
Jackson Laizure / Neilson Barnard, Getty Images

How much Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn got along during the later years of their partnership has always been an interesting and hotly debated, but mostly behind-the-scenes, conversation.

After breaking up in 2010, neither member of Brooks and Dunn did much to squash those rumors, but no one stoked the fire, either. That was until recently, when their personal dynamic took center stage when Dunn seemingly took aim at “the guy in the cowboy hat” on his Facebook page.

The ‘Kiss You There’ singer tied the fall of Brooks and Dunn to Brooks’ job hosting the syndicated American Country Countdown radio show.

The answer — as numerous fans and the Boot pointed out — is that ‘Play Something Country’ reached No. 1 in 2005, and Brooks began his new job in 2006. Just last month, he was named the CMA National Broadcast Personality of the Year for his work on the Top 40 show and on Cumulus Media’s overnight show, Kickin’ It With Kix.

So while Brooks had previously remained respectful of Dunn’s right to free speech, this insinuation clearly irked him, so he responded:

“This one really makes me sad pard – whatever you’ve got going on with with your attack on Radio now is certainly your business, but when someone said you’d implied that my hosting ACC had something to do with any lack of BnD success at Radio i didn’t believe it – if you remember ABC not Cumulus signed me back in 06 – a big network, but every major network without exception carried the show though out our carrier – i sat down with you and asked you what you thought, and said i would never do it if you thought there was any chance it would not be good for us – you encouraged me to do so – it’s been really fun for me – today our dear friend Reba called to congratulate me on winning the National Air Personality award – i was so excited, and then i read this – i cherish the years we made music and ran the road together -thanks to these fans we certainly got to live the dream.”

“I’ve always admired your singing,” Brooks adds, “and I think you’ve always been admired for being one of the best — not sure what all this is about — wish all our fans the best — this music was for you — thanks for the ride — let’s take a break on the hate.”

Dunn responded, saying: “This is about the competitive environment of conglomerated radio … nothing negative about the guy in the cowboy hat. ‘Play Something Country’ was the last #1 B&D had. Kix taking over the countdown on a major conglomerate’s network in a highly competitive environment was the beginning of the end for B&D.”

Those who follow Dunn on Facebook are aware that changing the competitive environment is his goal. He’s been promising a new paradigm, using several posts to underscore his basic points and philosophy. He’s yet to reveal specific details of how the future (of the music business, or of how he’ll approach the music business) will work. A number of his posts have taken aim at Clear Channel Communications; he’s even copied and pasted emails from the company’s upper-management.

Dunn has addressed the new ways he’s going to market his upcoming album in a number of articles for Taste of Country. In September, he shared that he’s not going to work mainstream radio any longer. In May, he talked about radio station playlists in a poignant Country This blog post.

The controversy the legend has stirred has undoubtedly hurt his chances of being played on mainstream radio in the near future, but it has helped grow his Facebook followers. Radio industry website All Access points out Dunn added about 5,000 new followers in seven days to end October.

Next: See Country Music's Most Famous Feuds

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