“I don’t know if God tweets, but I’m gonna send Him a tweet today,” Dierks Bentley said Sunday (Sept. 28) at Nashville’s Riverfront Park during his ninth annual Miles & Music for Kids charity motorcycle ride and concert.
“I don’t know if the big man is on Twitter, but I’m gonna say, ’Thank you for the weather,'” he said. “Earlier this week, it was like perfect weather until Sunday. I have a picture on my phone. I sent it to everyone — all 20 people involved — and it’s like, ’This is unbelievable. Perfect weather until Sunday. Then a 72 percent chance of rain.'”
But the heavens smiled, and Bentley was rewarded with glorious skies for a day of giving back. The sunny, 80-degree weather made for a perfect day for riding motorcycles and rocking the stage for a good cause.
Each year, Bentley’s hometown motorcycle ride and concert raises money for Nashville’s Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Since 2006, he and his friends have raised more than $2.5 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the nation.
“We didn’t know that we’d get past the first year,” Bentley admitted. “So the fact that we are back in our ninth year is amazing.”
Each year, the event grows in crowd size and star power, too. Chris Young, Randy Houser, Jon Pardi, Kip Moore and Dee Jay Silver all performed Sunday, and Thompson Square’s Keifer Thompson and American Pickers star Mike Wolfe were among those in attendance.
Bentley’s mother Cathy joined him at a Harley Davidson dealership in Columbia, Tennessee, and served as his very brave co-pilot on the ride to downtown Nashville.
“My mom’s first time on my bike, and I almost dropped her at the dealership,” he said. “I’m not used to having someone behind me. I was kind of goosing it and messing around, and I felt her slide off the back and her fingernails dug into my skin.
“I was like, ’Whoa!’ My 70-year-old mom almost went flying off the back of my bike. But she loved it. She never sees Tennessee in that way. So for her to see the farms and the pastures and the horses — just that element of Tennessee — was really cool for her. She loved it.”
And although he didn’t get to ride, Young says being a part of the charitable event with Bentley is very important to him, and he was quick to give props to the day’s generous host.
“A tip of the hat to Dierks,” he said. “This event, he’s been doing this for nine years. … The fact that he’s doing the crazy numbers (on tour) that he did this summer and still making time to give back, I think is really, really important.”
So how much money was raised for those precious kids this year?
An Instagram photo posted Sunday night showed Bentley signing a check to the Nashville-based children’s hospital in the amount of $335,479.
“Biggest check ever for #MilesAndMusic,” he wrote.