Dierks Bentley lost his father Leon four years ago on June 1, 2012.
It was a huge loss for Bentley, and when he was in Chicago a week ago, we had the chance to talk about how the years have helped heal his pain.
“I feel so lucky to have had a dad like him, and that he lived so long and got to see so much of this,” Bentley said, gesturing to the massive amphitheater where he was about to headline. “I feel guilty even saying that it’s hard at times. Because I’m just so grateful I got the chance to be his son.”
The biggest blessing, he said, is that his mother Cathy is doing well.
“Mom is good. She has lots of friends. She stays super busy and keeps up with all of this,” he told me, saying she prints out every story written about him and mails him the hard copies. “She’s old school like that.”
Yet there are still plenty of days when Bentley wishes he could talk to his dad.
“Four years later, I’ll think, ‘I’m gonna call my dad.’ And then I’m like, ‘Shit, I can’t do that,’” he said.
And what he said gets to him the most — just like Cole Swindell sings about in his hit song “You Should Be Here” — is that his dad would have loved seeing his son at the top of his game.
“He would’ve loved this at this level,” Bentley said. “He would’ve loved everything we do in our live show — how I try to break down the walls between me and the fans but then how I can go huge when I want to. I wish my dad could see all of it.”