OFFSTAGE: Why Dierks Bentley Loves the Grammys

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Dierks Bentley just told me about a new Grammy idea he has. “I’m enacting a new rule next year: if you’re been nominated for 12 Grammys, they automatically give you one,” he said. Maybe that’s because he has been nominated for 10 so far.

Bentley was in Chicago last night (Feb. 9) for a sold-out show and we got to catch up on everything he’s doing to celebrate the release of his new album, Home. For example he’s getting together with Miranda Lambert to present the country album of the year at the Grammys on Sunday night.

“I’d be happy for any of those folks to win. I’m really excited to go out there and just be part of someone’s big moment,” he said.

But the other reason he loves going to the Grammys is, obviously, for the music. He said it’s like the best concert of all time and he is dying to see the Foo Fighters. Yet he wasn’t always this open-minded.

“From the age of 17 to about 29, I was militant about country music and bluegrass. That’s all I would listen to. I got into Hank Jr. at 17. Before that, from 13 to 17, it was all Van Halen, then even Whitesnake, Bon Jovi, Skid Row, Pearl Jam and some Black Sabbath,” he told me.

“But when I found Hank, all those CDs were just gone. A friend of mine played me a Hank song called ’Man to Man,’ which starts off with great guitar solo. I’m 17, and this guy’s singing about beer and naked girls, and I was like, ’This is the music I want to be listening to.’ So I pushed all those other CDs aside. It had to be country all the time,” he said.

“But then at around 29, I opened doors to other music again,” he added. “So now I go to Grammys and I’m way into anything that’s different. I love our format but I’m very open to other things now because I know who I am.”