Known for such hits as My Maria and Boot Scootin’ Boogie, Brooks & Dunn dominated the country music scene throughout the 1990s. Dale Earnhardt was also a dominant force in the ’90s, albeit in the world of NASCAR, winning four of his seven championships before 1995. In any case, given their popularity at the time and the close connection between the NASCAR and country communities, it didn’t take long before Kix Brooks, Ronnie Dunn, and Dale Sr. became fast friends.
The friendship between The Intimidator and the country music duo first blossomed, publicly anyway, following the 1993 release of the B&D country song “Sunday Money,” which Dale liked so much that he named his multi-million-dollar yacht after it.
Four years later, Brooks and Dunn linked up with Earnhardt for the music video for Honky Tonk Truth. Shot at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, the video is known for Dale’s memorable cameo appearance. It’s a cameo that probably would never have come to be if not for a chance encounter at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
As it turns out, Brooks and Dunn got the idea to bring Earnhardt into the video while the artists attended a NASCAR event at IMS. They were walking near the garages towards Earnhardt’s transporter when they heard women behind them whispering, “That’s him, isn’t it?!” Kix Brooks assumed they were talking about him, but when he turned around, the fans were disappointed that it wasn’t Earnhardt. After telling the story to Dale Sr., they hatched the idea for the video.
Earnhardt and Brooks actually looked quite similar thanks to their signature mustaches. When they both had their cowboy hats on, they practically looked like twins. The idea for the video was that Dale would dress just like Brooks, strum the guitar, and lip sync along with the song. With everything going on in the video, it would be hard to tell the difference between the two.
Originally, Dale was reluctant to do the video. He told Brooks and Dunn that he couldn’t sing or act, and he’d make himself look like an idiot. However, with a little reassurance, he came around to the idea. The artists promised Earnhardt that they would remove any of the scenes he was in if he didn’t like them. After a little drinking, Dale loosened up and shot all of the scenes needed for the video. After he viewed the final product, he called Brooks up immediately to tell him how good it was.
Luckily for all of us, he did the video, and the end result was pretty spectacular. The two stars really were hard to tell apart from one another. This video was just one of the many iconic and memorable things that Earnhardt did throughout his career. It’s always awesome to see the humorous and entertaining side of this NASCAR legend.
This post was originally published on July 1, 2020.