Dierks Bentley Biography

A Biography of Successful Country Bluegrass Star Dierks Bentley

Country singer Dierks Bentley
Country singer Dierks Bentley. Google Images/usmagazine.com

Dierks Bentley was born on November 20, 1975, in Phoenix, Arizona. His family wasn't particularly musical one, leaving Bentley to take the reins of his own music education. He taught himself how to play guitar at the age of 13 and messed around playing rock songs that were popular during that time. After a friend suggested that he listen to the Hank Williams song "Man to Man," he became hooked on country music.

Bentley's father took a job on the east coast when Bentley was a teenager. He graduated from high school in 1993 and enrolled at the University of Vermont, but Nashville was calling his name. He transferred to Vanderbilt University in 1994 and spent the next few years trying to break into Nashville's music scene.

Discouraged, he turned to bluegrass music in the hope of honing his craft. When he wasn't watching performers at Nashville's legendary Station Inn bluegrass bar, he was performing on his own at open mic nights and showcases, eventually moving up to bars and honkytonks.

Bentley graduated from Vanderbilt in 1997 and took a job at The Nashville Network, now Spike TV. He worked as a researcher, sifting through classic country footage, and this helped him continue his country music education. He cut his first demo in 2000, which caught the attention of several major labels. He signed with Capitol Records in 2002. 

Career Overview

Bentley's self-titled debut album was released in 2003. He co-wrote 11 of the album's 13 tracks, including the No. 1 hit "What Was I Thinkin'." The album was a breakout success and went platinum. Bentley was officially on the map.

Bentley had a huge year in 2005. His sophomore effort, Modern Day Drifter, was released, and he had a hand in the creative process of this album as well, penning eight of its 11 tracks. Modern Day Drifter went platinum and earned him two No. 1 hits for "Come a Little Closer" and "Settle for a Slowdown." The album stays true to Bentley's country roots and it secured his status as a major player in the country music industry.

Bentley won the CMA Horizon Award and he was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry. He became the youngest musician to ever be inducted at just 29 years old. He also married his high school sweetheart, Cassidy Black. They have three children.

He released Long Trip Alone in 2006, which produced the No. 1 hits "Every Mile a Memory" and "Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go)." With so many hits under his belt, it was time to release his first greatest hits album in 2008. Bentley's fourth studio album, Feel That Fire, was released in 2009. The title track and the single "Sideways" earned him another pair of No. 1 hits.

Up on the Ridge followed in 2010. The full-fledged bluegrass album was more of a critical success than a commercial hit. Home was released in 2012 and featured 12 new songs he debuted while on tour. Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild, Tim O'Brien and Sam Bush lent their talents. "Am I the Only One" reached No. 1 on the Billboard country charts, putting Bentley back on the radio. He released the self-funded Country & Cold Cans EP that same year. 

Bentley's eighth album, Riser, was released in 2014. The album is perhaps his most contemplative work to date and it garnered a lot of critical attention. It spawned two No. 1 hits: "I Hold On" and "Drunk on a Plane." Though the album isn't jam-packed with lighthearted singles, it's a raw, solid piece of musicianship. He followed Riser with Black, released in 2016. 

Awards and Recognition

The singer has earned 13 No. 1 singles, two CMA Awards, and he's been nominated for 11 Grammys. He attributes much of his success to touring and has always maintained a busy touring schedule. He's co-headlined the Locked and Re-Loaded Tour with Miranda Lambert in 2013, and has toured with the likes of Kenny Chesney and Brad Paisley. He's scheduled to headline the What the Hell World tour in 2017. 


  • Dierks Bentley (2003)
  • Modern Day Drifter (2005)
  • Long Trip Alone (2006)
  • Greatest Hits/Every Mile a Memory 2003-2008 (2008)
  • Feel That Fire (2009)
  • Up on the Ridge (2010)
  • Home (2012)
  • Country & Cold Cans EP (2012)
  • Riser (2014)

Popular Songs:

  • "Drunk On a Plane"
  • "5-1-5-0"
  • "What Was I Thinkin'"
  • "Say You Do"
  • "Come a Little Closer"
  • "Feel That Fire"
  • "Home"