Editor's note: See more of the Dierks Bentley interview when the latest episode of CMT Hot 20 Countdown premieres Saturday (July 27) at 11:30 a.m. ET/PT.
In headlining Monday night's (July 22) Country Cares Concert to benefit the families of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, Dierks Bentley acknowledged it wasn't a typical performance and gave special thought about how to approach his performance.
Bentley, The Band Perry, Randy Houser and David Nail helped raise $476,000 for the families of 19 firefighters who recently lost their lives while battling a wildfire near Prescott, Ariz. Family members of the firefighters, along with the sole surviving firefighter from the crew, attended the concert in Prescott Valley, Ariz.
Prior to the concert, Bentley told 's Terry Bumgarner he'd been thinking what sort of tone the event should have.
"Part of you feels like you should maybe start the show this one way to show your respect for these guys and these families," he said. "And then that's not really what I do. I'm a certain kind of singer. There are all kinds of singers. There are wedding singers, which I'm not. I can't do that. There's cover band singers. I don't have that.
"I just have one thing that I do, and that's all about trying to move people in a really positive, fun way with a few moments sprinkled in that make them think a bit. And that's what I feel like we're here to do and hopefully do the best we can. But regardless, it's really about the folks that came here and raised this money."
Bentley is very familiar with the area around Prescott, located north of his hometown of Phoenix.
"I think anyone who grows up in Phoenix spends time somewhere up here," he said. "It's just so hot here during the summer, you've got to get out, so everyone heads north. This area is really special to me, and this is a place my dad and I came to, My dad passed away last year, so just driving up here today -- up Highway 17 -- [there were] just a lot of memories of driving up with my dad in a 1971 Suburban up that same road.
"So, yeah, a lot of memories and great folks. I always have kinda looked forward to wanting to play a show up in this area, not under these conditions, but I really am honored to be here and to be one of the faces of the country music establishment showing we care."
Bentley says the country music community is always anxious to offer assistance to those in need.
"I think country singers and the whole genre are always looking for ways to help out," he said. "When the tornadoes went through Oklahoma, I texted Blake Shelton and was like 'If there's anything I can do to help out, let me know.' ... And I've had so many country artists come out and help with my Miles & Music benefits in Nashville, so I think we're always looking for something to be part of or help out in some way."