Holly Suzette Dunn (born August 22, 1957) is an American former country music singer and songwriter. The sister of songwriterChris Waters, Dunn recorded for MTM Records between 1985-1988, Warner Bros. Records between 1988–93, and River North Records between 1995-97. She has released ten albums and has charted nineteen singles plus two duets on the Hot Country Songscharts. Of her single releases, two — “Are You Ever Gonna Love Me” and “You Really Had Me Going” — went to number 1. Dunn retired from music in 2003. In March, 2016, Dunn was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and is currently undergoing chemotherapy

Musical career

While attending high school, Dunn performed in a band called Freedom Folk Singers, which toured the Southern United States. She attended Abilene Christian University and performed in a school sponsored group called The Hilltoppers. Dunn also wrote songs with her brother, Chris Waters, who would later become a prolific songwriter in Nashville, Tennessee. One of their collaborations, “Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind”, was recorded by Cristy Lane. After graduating college, Dunn moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where she worked as a demo singer before both she and Waters became songwriters at CBS Records, and then MTM Records. Louise Mandrell had a top 10 hit in 1984 with “I’m Not Through Loving You Yet”, which the two co-wrote. By 1985, Dunn was signed to a record contract with MTM.

Singing career

Dunn’s first two releases — “Playing for Keeps” and “My Heart Holds On” — both failed to make the Top 40 on the Hot Country Songs charts, while “Two Too Many” peaked at number 39. Her first Top 10 hit came in 1986, when “Daddy’s Hands” went to number 7. The song was included on her self-titled debut, from which it served as the final single. Following this song, she sang guest vocals on Michael Martin Murphey’s Top 5 hit “A Face in the Crowd”, from his album Americana. Her second MTM album, Cornerstone, produced three straight Top 10 hits in “Love Someone Like Me”, “Only When I Love”, and “Strangers Again”. Across the Rio Grande in 1988 included the singles “That’s What Your Love Does to Me” and “(It’s Always Gonna Be) Someday”, before MTM Records filed for bankruptcy and closed.

In 1989, Dunn moved to Warner Bros. Records’ Nashville division. Her first release for the label, The Blue Rose of Texas, produced her first number 1 hit in “Are You Ever Gonna Love Me”, followed by “There Goes My Heart Again” at number 4. The latter was co-written by a then-unknown Joe Diffie, who also sang backing vocals on it. She also sang onKenny Rogers’ late 1990 hit “Maybe”, from his album Something Inside So Strong.

Dunn’s second Warner Bros. album, Heart Full of Love, was released in 1990. Although its lead single “My Anniversary for Being a Fool” failed to make top 40, the followup “You Really Had Me Going” became her second and final number 1 hit, while the title track was a top 20 hit.

In 1991, Dunn released her first greatest hits package, Milestones: Greatest Hits. It included the new release “Maybe I Mean Yes”, which became controversial due to some listeners interpreting the song as condoning date rape. As a result, Dunn asked for the single to be withdrawn from rotation. Her final Warner Bros. release, Getting It Dunn, failed to produce a top 40 hit, and she exited the label in 1993.

Dunn signed to River North Records in 1995 and released two albums for the label: Life and Love and All the Stages in 1995 and Leave One Bridge Standing two years later. The former produced her final chart entry in “I Am Who I Am”. Shortly before the release of Leave One Bridge Standing, she joined country music radio station WWWW in Detroit, Michigan as morning show co-host. It was not her first time behind the radio mike, as she had served as a DJ during her college years. However, the decision forced her to give up touring for a time. Later, she co-hosted Opry Backstage on The Nashville Network in 2001-02.

In 2003, Dunn announced her retirement from her musical career to devote full-time to her other passion, art. She released her final album, “Full Circle”, which was her first gospel album, in 2003. Her paintings deal primarily with subjects from the southwestern United States, and are available through the Peña+Dunn Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Label: River North
Formats: CD, Cassette

Full Circle
Release date: 2003
Label: South Heart
Formats: CD

“—” denotes releases that did not chart
Title Album details Peak chart
positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
US Country US
Milestones: Greatest Hits
Release date: July 23, 1991
Label: Warner Bros.
Formats: CD, Cassette
25 162
US: Gold
Year Single Peak chart
positions Album
US Country CAN Country
1985 “Playing for Keeps” 62 — N/A
“My Heart Holds On” 64 — Holly Dunn
1986 “Two Too Many” 39 —
“Daddy’s Hands” 7 —
1987 “Love Someone Like Me” 2 2 Cornerstone
“Only When I Love” 4 7
1988 “Strangers Again” 7 36
“That’s What Your Love Does to Me” 5 6 Across the Rio Grande
“(It’s Always Gonna Be) Someday” 11 *
1989 “Are You Ever Gonna Love Me” 1 6 The Blue Rose of Texas
“There Goes My Heart Again” 4 8
1990 “My Anniversary for Being a Fool” 63 75 Heart Full of Love
“You Really Had Me Going” 1 1
1991 “Heart Full of Love” 19 12
“Maybe I Mean Yes” 48 45 Milestones: Greatest Hits
“No One Takes the Train Anymore” — —
1992 “No Love Have I” 67 — Getting It Dunn
“As Long as You Belong to Me” 68 —
1993 “Golden Years” 51 62
1995 “I Am Who I Am” 56 56 Life and Love and All the Stages
“Cowboys Are My Weakness” — —
1996 “It’s Not About Blame” — —
1997 “Leave One Bridge Standing” — — Leave One Bridge Standing
“—” denotes releases that did not chart
* denotes unknown peak positions
Guest singles[edit]
Year Single Artist Peak chart
positions Album
US Country CAN Country
1987 “A Face in the Crowd” Michael Martin Murphey 4 7 Americana
1990 “Maybe” Kenny Rogers 25 17 Something Inside So Strong
“Tomorrow’s World” Various artists 74 — N/A
“—” denotes releases that did not chart
Music videos[edit]
Year Title Director
1986 “Two Too Many”[6] Coke Sams
“Daddy’s Hands” Jim May/Coke Sams
1988 “Strangers Again”
1989 “There Goes My Heart Again”
1990 “You Really Had Me Going” John Lloyd Miller
1991 “Maybe I Mean Yes” Clarke Gallivan
“No One Takes the Train Anymore” Clarke Gallivan
1992 “As Long as You Belong to Me”[7]
1995 “I Am Who I Am”[8] Thom Oliphant
“Cowboys Are My Weakness” Jon Small
1997 “Leave One Bridge Standing” Steven R. Monroe

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