Leon Eric "Kix" Brooks grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana. After graduating from the former Sewanee Military Academy, in Sewanee, Tennessee, Brooks attended Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, where he was a theatre arts major.
He moved to Alaska to work for his father on an oil pipeline for one summer and then returned to Louisiana Tech to finish his education. He then moved to Maine and wrote advertising for a company owned by his sister and brother-in-law.
His father urged him to pursue his desire to become a musician, and Brooks moved to Nashville in the early 1980s. His then girlfriend (now wife Barbara) followed shortly thereafter. He began working for Tree Publishing as a staff songwriter. He recorded his first solo single, "Baby, When Your Heart Breaks Down," for Avion in 1983 but returned to songwriting after it failed to chart. He also released an album, Kix Brooks, in 1989 on Capitol Records. This album also featured the song "Sacred Ground," which became a #2 country hit for McBride & the Ride in 1992.
He is best known as one half of country music duo Brooks & Dunn along with Ronnie Dunn. Brooks usually provides backing vocals on their songs and singles. Signed to Arista Records in 1991, the duo recorded ten studio albums, one Christmas album and three compilation albums for the label.
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-----They also released fifty singles, of which twenty went to number one on the Hot Country Songs charts and nineteen more reached top ten. Two of these number-one songs, "My Maria" (a cover of the B.W. Stevenson song) and "Ain't Nothing 'Bout You," were the top country songs of 1996 and 2001, respectively, according to the Billboard Year-End charts. The latter is also the duo's longest-lasting number one, at six weeks.
Several of their songs have also reached the Billboard Hot 100, where the duo's highest peaks are "Ain't Nothing 'bout You" and "Red Dirt Road," both at number 25.
The singles featuring Brooks on lead vocals include, "You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone," which went to Number One, and "Rock My World (Little Country Girl)." He has not sung lead on any of the duo's singles since 1999's "South of Santa Fe."
On August 10, 2009, Brooks & Dunn announced to their fans, via their website that they intended to disband after 20 years of touring. According to the short statement released on their web site, Brooks & Dunn were to release a greatest hits album, tour throughout the rest of 2009, and have a farewell tour in 2010.
Brooks and Dunn have won more Country Music Association awards and Academy of Country Music awards than any act in the history of country music. They have won the Country Music Association Vocal Duo Of The Year award every year since they debuted in 1991 (except in 2000 when the honor went to Montgomery Gentry, and in 2007 and 2009 when it was awarded to Sugarland.) They have sold over 30 million records and continue to be one of the most consistently successful touring acts on the concert circuit.
Since January 2006, Brooks has hosted American Country Countdown, a syndicated radio countdown show based on Mediabase country charts. He is also co-owner of Arrington Vineyards with winemaker Kip Summers, and businessmen Fred Mindermann and John Russell. Arrington Vineyard is a winery located outside of Nashville.