Country music has many famous couples, however it’s the couples that last through one person being in the spotlight and one being left at home that are the most impressive. This is exactly the case with Brooks and Dunn’s Kix Brooks and his wife of 37 years Barbara.
The pair met in 1979 before Brooks was a famous Nashville country music star in Maine. Barbara owned a fabric store and Brooks had traveled there to help his sister with her family business.
“I’m from Boston, but I moved to Maine after college and had a fabric store there,” Barbara said. “Kix was there, having left his native Louisiana to help his sister and brother-in-law at their fledgling ad agency.”
Brooks didn’t stay up north very long, moving the following year to Nashville to follow his monumental music career. The love that blossomed between Kix and Barbara survived the long distance and the couple was married in 1981.
The story goes that Brooks almost stood up his bride at the altar! The singer reportedly overslept and barely made it to his wedding on time. Luckily that didn’t deter his new bride and the couple married happily ever after.
Barbara observes that when country music fame came for Brooks, he didn’t let it change who he was as a man.
“Kix’s fame came when he was a little older,” Barbara Brooks told Country Weekly, “so he already had a strong sense of himself. I don’t see very many changes in him.”
When Brooks’ career took off it required him to leave his family at home while he basically lived on a tour bus. Barbara quit her job to raise their two children Molly and Eric.
“Thankfully, Kix has always been focused on our kids and family. But when he was touring really heavily in the ’90s, it was hard,” Barbara Brooks says. “Our kids were little, and I quit my job to be home. Kix and Ronnie [Dunn] were on a bus and didn’t get to come home often.”
Barbara had to operate like most wives of country music stars, which is as a solo-parent. Even though those years were hard, Brooks found ways to make it up to Barbara.
“I’ve been horse crazy since birth, but my parents never had the money to support that,” she says. “Kix gave me my first horse, a Paint mare named Angel, for my 40th birthday.”
On their 25th anniversary Brooks gave Barbara a mare from Colorado that became very special to her.
“It was really special,” Barbara recalled. “I immediately fell in love with her.”
Today Barbara Brooks is a well-accomplished horse cutter and still happily married to Kix Brooks after all the years that have passed.
“All married couples argue,” Brooks commented. “But honestly, in 20 years, Barbara and I have never had a fight. And I can count the arguments on one hand.”