Dierks Bentley

  • Country music singer, musician and songwriter born Frederick Dierks Bentley in 1975 from Phoenix Arizona.
  • Bentley’s family was not particularly musical – he became interested in music simply by listening to records. At 19 years old, he moved to Nashville to attend college and to see if something in country music would break his way. He soon became discouraged when he couldn’t generate any interest in his music. An all-night jam session at a bluegrass bar in town rejuvenated his desire, and he resumed performing. He found a job at The Nashville Network doing research on classic country acts, which appealed to his love of legacies like Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings. At night, he cut demo tapes, and in 2003, he was finally signed to a recording contract.
  • His self-titled debut album was released in 2003. The first single made him an instant star – the infectious What Was I Thinkin’ topped the country chart and peaked at #22 on the Hot 100 chart. Two more singles broke into the top 20 of the country chart – My Last Name (peaking at #17) and How Am I Doin (#4).
  • Three more albums were released in the 00s, with all topping the country albums chart. All ten singles from these albums were top 10 on the country chart, with Come A Little Closer, Settle For a Showdown, Every Mile a Memory, Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go), Feel That Fire and Sideways all topping the chart.
  • The early success got Bentley an invitation to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry at the age of 29 – one of the youngest artists ever to become a member.
  • His first album of the 10s decade, 2010’s Up On The Ridge, was a bluegrass-inspired album with collaborations with traditional country artists like Alison Krauss, Kris Kristofferson and Miranda Lambert. But it wasn’t just bluegrass – it also included a cover of U2’s Pride (In the Name of Love). It was loved by the critics, though the singles did not chart highly – the title track peaked at #21 on the country chart.
  • Bentley rebounded with his next album in 2012 – Home. Singles from the album topped the country chart three times – Am I The Only One, 5-1-5-0 and the title track all reached #1. As the decade progressed, he continued to release huge country hits – seven more singles would top the Country Songs or Country Airplay charts between 2013 and 2019. His biggest selling song of the decade was one of his signature hits, Drunk On A Plane, which topped the Country Airplay chart in 2014.
  • In 2015, Bentley formed a side project called Hot Country Knights. The band is composed of alter egos of Bentley and his touring band – Bentley’s character has the name Douglas “Doug” Douglason. They perform parodies of 90s country music – a tongue-in-cheek homage to the country-rock style of music during that time. In 2020, they were signed as a separate act and their debut album, The K Is Silent, was released. Goofy songs included Moose Knuckle Shuffle (a parody of Brooks and Dunn’s Boot Scootin’ Boogie) and Then It Rained (a nod to Garth Brooks’ The Thunder Rolls) – actually quite hilarious if you are familiar with the originals. And, I won’t get into detail on what the song You Make It Hard is really about.
  • Bentley holds the unfortunate distinction of being nominated for 14 Grammy awards without winning one. Only seven people have more nominations without a win. Too bad – he’s a real talent, and he is still making hits nearly 20 years into his career. Here is his Bro-Country anthem, Drunk On A Plane. Enjoy!

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