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With 17 number one songs, 13 Grammy nominations, countless nominations from the Country Music Awards, the Academy of Country Music and Billboard, and nine studio albums, Dierks Bentley is making his dreams come true.
Since his debut in 2003, Bentley has found himself a unique style of rowdy party anthems and deeply sensual slow jams.
There is no in-between.
Songs range from fun songs about beaches or pickup trucks, or a heart-wrenching ballad about love and relationships.
Bentley's songwriting ability puts him even further on the charts with the organic, authentic lyrics he writes.
Many of the songs that made my list did not make country charts, but the lyrical significance behind them is what got them on it.
Take a look at my top Dierks Bentley songs.
10. "What Was I Thinkin"
"What Was I Thinking" was Bentley's introduction into country and it's made him the artist he is today. It's the kind of debut song where, once it comes on the radio, listeners put the max sound on, even years later. Though the song is about making several bad decisions after falling for a girl, it's a must hear at a Bentley concert. The "little white tank top" lyric even created a costume for Bentley's fanbase. The song went to number one and became his first to go gold with over 500,000 singles sold.
9. "I Hold On"
"I Hold On" is one of Bentley's most powerful songs about his past and the moments that molded him into the person he is today. At a live concert I attended, Bentley described this old beat up pickup truck he had when he first traveled to Tennessee with his father, and how that was one of his better memories; he still has the pick up truck and continues to keep the memories alive. This track definitely, in my opinion, makes Bentley different than other male artists on country radio.
Off of Bentley's ninth studio-album, The Mountain, "Living" vb is an inspirational true-life story to a piece of his life. The song depicts resilience, hope and persistence. One of the best lines in this song is, "It's a beautiful world / Sometimes I don't see it so clear." Right there, Bentley's offering his fans a powerful message to always try and live every day. In an interview with Taste of Country, Bentley said, "No matter what we do, we try to do something that makes us feel like we're living. That's how this song came about."
"Riser" has been one of Bentley's inspirational tracks about the power of perseverance in the face of all odds. The powerful message reaches out and hands comfort to fans everywhere, offering them solace and hope, no matter what they are going through.
6. "Stranger To Myself"
This simple ballad is a love song about how finding love has changed Bentley, after he goes through a bunch of old photos seeing the person he once was. He realizes he no longer that person and is, in a way now, a stranger to the person he used to be. And all while you're on the journey, the chorus is a pretty catchy "sing-a-long."
5. "Damn These Dreams"
"Damn These Dreams" did not make it to any country charts; it actually almost didn't make it onto Riser because Bentley believed it was too personal. The ballad tells the anguish he has when he has to leave his family while being out on the road. In an interview with Billboard, Bentley said, "That song is based on me and my love of music, my family, and being torn away from them." "Damn These Dreams" is definitely a must listen-to!
4. "Last Name"
Another must listen-to! Coming from someone who is a major genealogy freak, learning where your last name derives from oftentimes results in pride of being who you are and knowing where you come from. Bentley outlines this in "Last Name," starting it off about how he was picked on for his last name, yet he came from generations, like his grandfather, who went off to war. When Bentley sings, "I ain't got much to give you / But what I've got means everything / It's my last name," this is one of the most beautifully written lyrics in country music about his future wife.
'Home' has a mixture of a few themes: pride and patriotism, however, created a new style of Bentley. It was up for Song and Single of the Year, and was even a no. 1 gold single in 2012.
2. "Drunk On A Plane"
My happy song is "Drunk On A Plane" ever since my roommate and I danced out our stress after a long day of classes. Though the song is about a heartbroken man who almost made his way to the altar until his fiancée ended things, he decides to go on the honeymoon he couldn't get his money back for. This is the part in the song where the music picks up and the chorus, well, it's definitely catchy and a must listen-to!
1. "Can't Be Replaced"
This is another Bentley song that didn't make it to country charts. However, it truly is a must listen-to (I know I've said it already, but if there's one thing you take from this—listen to "Can't Be Replaced"). The last line in the song is a tearjerker when Bentley sings, "For 15 years, right by my side / From a single man to three kids and a wife / Friends come and go, but when it comes to Jake / There's just some things that can't be replaced." For those who don't know, Jake was Bentley's dog who passed away in 2016. Bentley admitted to Taste of Country he can't get through that verse without crying.