Dierks Bentley posted a photo to Instagram with a note attached that speaks directly to the much larger reach and impact that country artists often achieve:
“Up until a month ago, I thought that the free gigs led to the gigs where I got paid in beer, and then tips on Lower Broadway, to the clubs and theaters…working my way up towards bigger crowds and the biggest shows at msg and Bridgestone Arena and my hometown arena in PHX. Seeing now that I had it upside down…those big shows were all just preparation for my most important show, for an audience of one.”
Baylee Barradas was a young, Phoenix, Arizona-based fan of Bentley’s who has sadly passed away. Until recently, Barradas was battling sarcoma, a tissue-borne cancer. Found in her leg in December 2020, the tumor was the size of a softball. Later, it grew football-sized.
Once he was made aware of her condition, and her fandom of his work, Bentley’s impromptu May 2021 concert — which involved Facetime calls with Bentley’s superstar friends — at her home allowed Barradas and her family, peace. “The whole time through him playing I had no jolts in my leg, which is when my leg shakes,” she told Phoenix’s 12News. “I had no pain, I was just very relaxed.”
Regarding that event, Bentley noted, “The phrase honored and humbled gets used a lot but it is the only one appropriate for how it felt to be included by this family and be able to spend this past weekend with them, Baylee, her friends, and her dogs Arlo and Arnie. Thankful to my friends Luke Bryan, Kelsea Ballerini, Tyler Hubbard, and Cole Swindell for making videos for this big time country music fan.”