The Male Vocalist of the Year category for the CMA Awards includes Dierks Bentley, a category he has been nominated in eight times, but has yet to win. While Bentley is grateful to be recognized in a category that also includes Luke Combs, Thomas Rhett, Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban, he's more grateful that his fans continue to show up at his shows night after night.
"People always say it's good to be nominated, but you think about how crowded the country music field is, how many people are trying to get in and no one's really trying to get out," Bentley shared with his record label. "Just packing more singers into one format, so to be one of the five performers to be nominated, it is pretty cool. I'd obviously like to win one. I got one in the previous decade, it'd be fun to get one in the teens.
"But either way, the reward really lies in getting the chance to tour and get up in front of your audience every night," he continued. "A trophy would be awesome, to get recognized by your peers and all that, but I get to go out there and be recognized every night by the fans that cheer for us and sing for us, so my cup is pretty overflowing as it is."
Bentley is a fan of all of the other men in the category, but maybe especially Rhett, who he admits he is a fan of on and off stage.
"I learn so much from the generation below me," Bentley previously told PopCulture.com and other media.. "I mean, Thomas Rhett is like 28, and he's married, he's been adopting kids, he's way, way ahead of where I am now. This guy is so mature for his age. A lot of these guys are, and girls are. They're making decisions that are still I feel like in a way, are really mature and brave, and taking chances. Look at [Rhett's] stuff.
"I remember he came on the road with us ... He was right in there with 'Beer With Jesus,' and hat backwards, just kind of in the backpack," he continued. "He was talking about this big musical change he wanted to go for. This thing he was going to try to do. It really was – he's gonna grab the ring or not. He's either going to work or not at all, and he went for it."
Bentley will also take the stage during the three-hour live broadcast to perform a tribute to Kris Kristofferson, alongside Sheryl Crow, Chris Janson and John Osborne. Other performers scheduled to appear include Maren Morris, Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves with Willie Nelson, Lady Antebellum with Halsey, Old Dominion. Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire, who are hosting the show, will also sing as well.
The 2019 CMA Awards will air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Photo Credit: Getty / Daniel Boczarski