Country music's Brooks & Dunn: Parting is sweet, if not sorrow

kix-brooks-ronnie-dunn-320.jpgKix Brooks, half of the popular country-music duo Brooks & Dunn, says he and longtime partner Ronnie Dunn are both ready to break up their act.

They launch their farewell tour next week, a week that will begin with the last performance they ever might make together on the Academy of Country Music Awards. CBS airs the 45th annual ceremony Sunday, Apr. 18, and fans can vote for which of their trademark songs Brooks & Dunn will perform -- from "Brand New Man" to "You're Gonna Miss Me."

Named top vocal duo (or vocal duo or group of the year) at the ACM Awards for 16 of the 19 years they've performed together, Brooks & Dunn are up for the top-duo honor again. "We had no intention of playing on the show this year," Brooks tells Zap2it. "Other people could use the break, but it seemed like kind of a fun idea (the Academy of Country Music) came up with."

Brooks doesn't think he and Dunn will get overly emotional in what may be their last tandem ACM round, though he knows from a recent concert appearance with Reba McEntire that "the reaction from the crowd, just the sound, it's a little different. You can just tell from the intensity that they're saying 'thank you.' You can feel it."

The night after the ACM Awards, Brooks and Dunn will be honored at the same site -- the MGM Grand in Las Vegas -- during the taping of another CBS special, the all-star tribute "Brooks & Dunn: The Last Rodeo," airing May 23.

Fellow country veteran George Strait is flying in specially to perform on that program, and Brooks says, "I'm so honored he's going to come. It's very humbling. Everybody is in the middle of touring, and (for them) to take the time and to feel our music is worthy of them coming and singing it, that's sort of the ultimate compliment."

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