Chart-topping country music duo Brooks & Dunn will hang up their ten gallon hats after a final slate of 2010 performances, the musicians announced this week. Dates for the pair’s ultimate outing, dubbed The Last Rodeo Tour, will be announced in the near future.

Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn broke news of the disbanding to fans in a brief and to-the-point message on their official Web site. “After 20 years of making music and riding this trail together, we have agreed as a duo that it’s time to call it a day,” the joint statement said.

“This ride has been everything and more than we could ever have dreamed…. We owe it all to you, the fans,” the musicians continued, adding, “If you hear rumors, don’t believe them, it’s just time.”

The veteran duo will release the compilation “#1s…And Then Some” on September 8. Their final studio album, 2007’s “Cowboy Town,” peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard 200 and took the No. 4 position on Billboard‘s country albums chart.

Brooks & Dunn banded together in 1990 at the behest of Arista Nashville founder Tim DuBois. Shortly afterwards in August 1991, they released their debut record “Brand New Man” and have since remained a Top 10 fixture on the country charts throughout their 20-year career. They have also become one of the top country ticket draws on the concert market, featuring prominently on TicketNews’s weekly events rankings.

Together, the musicians have recorded 23 chart-topping singles and won more than 80 awards, according to their site. Among their No. 1 hits are “Boot Scootin’ Boogie,” “My Maria,” and 2001’s “Only In America,” which was used during presidential campaigns for George W. Bush and Barack Obama alike.

“They’ve had every kind of hit. Literally, they’ve explored every musical texture and tempo and style and flavor,” commented Brian Philips, president of Country Music Television, in a statement. “I can’t imagine either of those two individuals walking away from music. That’s unthinkable.”

15 for $15 with Napster!Unthinkable, maybe. But how long the acclaimed musicians actually stay away from their career together remains to be seen. An increasing number of recording artists and groups have returned to the limelight after a break-up only to experience renewed — and resounding — success in their later careers.

Classic country-rock group Eagles is a prime example. Fourteen years after splitting, the group reformed in 1994, then released its first studio album in nearly 30 years in 2007. That effort, “Long Road Out of Eden,” topped record charts around the world and spurred a lengthy and lucrative tour.

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Despite the abruptness of their announcement, it’s business as usual for Brooks & Dunn, who are currently on the road for their Cowboy Town 2009 Tour. The remainder of the trek is comprised mostly of weekend dates, including appearances at a few regional fairs.

The duo’s next U.S. performance is slated for August 15 at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Aberdeen, MD.

Brooks & Dunn itinerary:
(Dates are subject to change.)

August 15 Baltimore, MD Aberdeen Proving Ground
August 16 Hamburg, NY Erie County Fair
August 21 Des Moines, IA Iowa State Fair
August 22 Sedalia, MO Missouri State Fair
August 28 Sparta, WI Fort McCoy Army Base
August 29 Mount Pleasant, MI Soaring Eagle Amphitheatre
October 1 Santa Ynez, CA Chumash Casino
October 2 Kelseyville, CA Konocti Harbor Amphitheatre
October 3 Alpine, CA Viejas Concerts In The Park
October 4 Tucson, AZ Anselmo Valencia Tori Amphitheatre
October 16 Penticton, BC South Okanagan Events Centre
October 17 Kamloops, BC Interior Savings Centre
October 19 Prince George, BC CN Centre
October 20 Dawson Creek, BC EnCana Event Centre
October 22 Red Deer, AB ENMAX Centrium Arena
October 23 Lethbridge, AB ENMAX Centre
October 24 Regina, SK Brandt Centre