As a member of Brooks & Dunn, Ronnie Dunn was half of one of the most successful duos in the history of country music, responsible for 26 number one singles and more than 30 million albums sold.

But as he discovered this year, starting a solo career still poses its own unique challenges — and even with all those hits under your belt, stepping out on your own can feel pretty lonely.

“I found out that I’m totally confused and I’m good with that,” admitted Dunn in a recent interview. “I’m consistently inconsistent. I’m all of the above. I’m OK. I’m a work in progress. That’s my next tattoo somewhere.”

Looking back on recording his latest solo album, ‘Ronnie Dunn,’ he recalled, “I was certainly helped by a lot of good people, but I’d never felt so alone in my life. All of a sudden, everyone just went, ‘OK, well, go do what you’ve got to do and I hope it works out for you.’”

But does he miss life as part of a duo? “Hell, no!” he laughs, then says his former partner, Kix Brooks, feels the same way. “And that’s exactly how he would answer that question. Do I miss him? We’re still good friends. I hear from him every few weeks or so. Kix and I were able to work it smoothly as I think it can be done in a partnership, and I’m proud of that. I’ll be forever proud of that. That is something that I can look back on and go, ‘Man, what a feat for two ne’er-do-wells to accomplish!’ And I’m happy that both of us can walk away in great shape and good spirits and tackle things that we like and look forward to doing.”

Dunn’s return to the solo career he abandoned in the ’80s has worked out well thus far — ‘Ronnie Dunn’ has already topped the country charts, and the set’s lead single, ‘Bleed Red,’ reached number 10. The followup, ‘Cost of Livin’,’ has broken the top 30.

[The Boot]