Dierks Bentley is mourning the loss of a young fan named Baylee Barradas who died this week after a battle with cancer. On Monday, Bentley shared a social media post in memory of Baylee, around one month after the singer first visited the young fan to play a bedside concert for her.
"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 [Madison Square Garden] and bridgestone arena and my hometown arena in [Phoenix]," Bentley captioned an Instagram post that began with photos and videos of a second visit over the weekend, including a clip of himself playing his song "I Hold On" for Baylee. The post also included a photo of Baylee with one of her dogs and a video of the young fan dancing in a car to Bentley's "Drunk on a Plane."
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"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," Bentley's caption continued. "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."
The singer also thanked his friends Luke Bryan, Kelsea Ballerini, Thomas Rhett, Tyler Hubbard and Cole Swindell for making videos for Baylee. "Grateful to Country Radio for the hits and having a chance to use those songs in a way that brought a lot of joy, comfort, peace and love to an unbelievably sad situation," he continued. "Baylee's father said to me, 'It's never too late to make a lifelong friend.' Nothing could be more true for me and my friend Baylee. God bless."
Swindell commented on Bentley's post, writing, "DB, thanks for being you. From the handwritten letter you sent me when I lost my Dad..to this right here. Thanks for all the inspiration. Proud to know you brother." Tenille Townes wrote, "Wow. So beautiful. Rest In Peace Baylee," and Caylee Hammack shared a series of heart emojis.