Kix Brooks and his wife Barbara were married on Aug. 1, 1981 — but it was almost a disaster.
The singer overslept and barely arrived to his Nashville wedding on time! Thankfully, he was suited up and ready to say “I do,” even after a rather harried morning, and those vows ring true over three decades later.
The lovely Mrs. Brooks first met her husband in Maine in 1979, before he was even pursuing a musical career.
“I’m from Boston, but I moved to Maine after college and had a fabric store there,” Barbara Brooks recalls. “Kix was there, having left his native Louisiana to help his sister and brother-in-law at their fledgling ad agency.”
Even though Kix Brooks left Maine the following year to follow his musical dreams, their relationship survived the long distance, and Barbara Brooks moved to Nashville a year later. They married in 1981, but it would be a while before Brooks & Dunn really made it big; in the beginning, Brooks was known as a songwriter — before B&D’s hits “Brand New Man” and “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” hit the airwaves in the early ’90s.
“Kix’s fame came when he was a little older,” Barbara Brooks tells Country Weekly, ”so he already had a strong sense of himself. I don’t see very many changes in him.”
While her husband was on the road and on the stage, Barbara Brooks was raising their two children, Molly and Eric. Those years were tough, she recalls.
“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.”
But when Kix Brooks was home with his family, he came with an all-hands-on-deck mentality.
“Kix is the world’s greatest dad,” declares Barbara Brooks. “He’s very involved with both kids. He jokes with them, and they think he’s hysterical.”
It takes a special couple to make a love story continue, especially when one partner has to travel so much. Kix Brooks is quick to shower his wife with gifts, and her favorite surprises include some four-legged friends: horses.
“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.”
Then, for their 25th anniversary, Brooks gave his wife a mare from Colorado.
“It was really special,” she remembers. “I immediately fell in love with her.”
Now, Barbara Brooks is a well-accomplished horse cutter, with the belt buckles to prove her success.
“All married couples argue,” notes her husband. “But honestly, in 20 years, Barbara and I have never had a fight. And I can count the arguments on one hand.”
Perhaps that’s because Kix Brooks has never called his wife “wifey” — at least, that’s her take on it. When country singer Jake Owen posted a photo of a T-shirt that “didn’t go over too well with my wifey,” Brooks’ missus was quick to give her two cents.
“Gee, I wonder why! Been married to @KixBrooks for almost 32 years, partly cuz he never called me ‘wifey,’” she tweeted. “Just a suggestion.”
Lesson learned: Husbands, love your wives … and don’t call them “wifey.”