Born Leon Eric Brooks, he is one half of the country duo Brooks and Dunn alongside his partner Ronnie Dunn. They had a collaboration that lasted for twenty years, until 2010. In 2019, they were selected for the Country Music Hall of Fame.
He went to Louisiana Tech University as a theatre arts major and worked on an oil pipeline in Alaska one summer.
He returned to a solo career in 2012 with the release of New to This Town.
His father pushed him to act on his dreams of being a musician and he started his career as a staff songwriter at Tree Publishing. He had a son named Eric with his wife Barbara, whom he married in 1981.
He collaborated with Joe Walsh on the song "New to This Town."