Contact Us

Dierks Bentley Recalls ‘Totally Crazy’ Way He Secured a Spot at His First CMA Awards

Subscribe to Taste of Country on

Dierks Bentley is nominated for a total of five big awards at the 2014 CMA Awards, but he remembers a time when it wasn’t that easy for him to find his name in lights during Country Music’s Biggest Night.

Roughly 10 years ago, after the release of his self-titled debut album, Bentley was finding success with his first single, ‘What Was I Thinkin’.’ That lit a fire inside him, and he was determined to get on the CMA Awards. He didn’t have a spot that year, however, so the singer did what any hard-workin’ man would and took things into his own hands.

In retrospect, Bentley admits what he did was “totally crazy.”

“That’s why this business is good to get in when you’re young and dumb and are operating off of blind determination, because yeah, I called Walter and I was like, ‘We had ‘What Was I Thinkin” out and it was a hit but I wasn’t on the show’,” he tells Taste of Country.

“Not only did I call him, I like made him a video of us playing it, getting the crowd reaction, all these girls wearing little white tank tops and put together this little video and sent it to him,” he furthers.

That “blind determination” worked in his favor: Bentley earned his first spot on the CMA Awards that year.

“We had 28 seconds. He gave me 28 seconds on the CMA Awards,” the now-star remembers. “It was different back then … it was hard for new artists to really get any time at all.”

Bentley was also up for the Horizon award that year, but lost to Gretchen Wilson. He admits he’s lost a lot and has perfected his losing face. Hopefully, this year he’ll be able to show off his ‘surprised winner’ face a la Taylor Swift. The singer is up for Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year for ‘I Hold On.’ ‘Drunk on a Plane’ also earned him nominations for Music Video of the Year — which he won before the show even aired — and Single of the Year.

So, You Think You Know Dierks Bentley?

Subscribe to Taste of Country on

Next: Full List of 2014 CMA Awards Nominees

Recommended For You

Around the Web

Best of Taste of Country

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for Taste of Country quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!