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In the entire course of country music history, no duo has ever been able to live up to Brooks & Dunn.
With 20 number one singles and 19 additional Top 10 hits, Brooks & Dunn’s songs defined country music in the 1990s and 2000s.
Once Brooks & Dunn made their decision to split up to pursue solo careers, the ACM decided to celebrate their career in a big way.
On May 23, 2010, some of country music’s leading stars at the time gathered to honor Brooks & Dunn’s immense musical legacy by performing covers of their songs at the Last Rodeo concert.
Country duo Sugarland had the honor of performing Brooks & Dunn’s “Red Dirt Road,” which is one of their most well-known songs.
Released in April 2003, “Red Dirt Road” became a number one hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and reached the 25th spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush told the story of how “Red Dirt Road” came to be. Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn wrote the song together, and did so by passing a cocktail napkin with lyrics to one another. As Bush explained, since he and Nettles like to write their own songs, they thought it was appropriate to play a song that Brooks & Dunn wrote together.
Nettles took a seat at a piano while Bush stood at a microphone beside her and played guitar. Lead vocals were primarily covered by Nettles, who sang with more passion as the performance pushed on.
Bush sang lead on a few occasions, and also provided harmony vocals from time to time. He even had a harmonica solo at one point, which everyone watching seemed to thoroughly enjoy.
But the best part of the performance came close to the end, when Nettles let her voice soar to deliver the final chorus with a burst of emotion. We’re sure everyone in the room had goosebumps at that moment.
The camera occasionally focused on Brooks & Dunn as Sugarland sang. They were clearly in awe of what they heard, and their reaction after their performance proves it even further. The two stood up to give Sugarland a standing ovation, which was definitely well-deserved.
You’ve probably heard “Red Dirt Road” a hundred times before, but you’ve never heard it done like this. Tune in below to watch Nettles and Bush pour their hearts out in their cover of the song.
If this doesn’t give you chills, we don’t know what will!