Brooks & Dunn Explain Why They Split

Brooks & Dunn Explain Why They Split
Kix Brooks & Ronnie Dunn
Rick Diamond/Getty

08/13/2009 AT 02:20 PM EDT

There comes a time when all cowboys ride into the sunset – and for the popular country duo Brooks & Dunn, that time has come.

Earlier this week, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn announced that after their 2010 tour, fittingly called "The Last Rodeo," they'll go their separate ways.

But why, after a 20-year partnership, have they decided to split? "It's too good a horse to ride it into the ground," Brooks said Wednesday in Nashville during a taping of CMT's Invitation Only special. "We're still good friends. I'm proud to say we've never had a fight, never even yelled at each other. And that's the truth."

The duo fielded questions from the audience at the taping of the show, which is slated to air Sept. 1 on Dish Network and Oct. 30 on CMT. "We started as co-workers and realized we had whole lot in common," Dunn said of the duo's bond. "We've ended up more like brothers."

Their new album, #1's and then some, will be released Sept. 8 and they'll hit the road for their farewell tour in 2010, then it's off into the sunset. But both say there's no animosity between them, and explain that their time together has simply run its course.

"It's a good thing," Brooks said of the split. "It's just time."

Solo Albums Ahead

Brooks recalled a point while putting together their new album when they just looked at each other and said, "You know what? I just think we've just kind of exhausted it."

Though they've yet to publicly discuss plans for life after Brooks & Dunn, sources say both are working on solo albums.

"They're both such creative, great guys. I don't think this is the end or the last time you'll hear from either one of them," says Terry McBride, bassist in Brooks & Dunn's band and a longtime friend who has co-written 11 of the duo's hit singles. "They are one of the few acts that are actually going out on top. They are still current, still relevant and still having hits. That says a lot about them."

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