Grand Ole Opry Member Spotlight: Dierks Bentley
The distinction of "Youngest Current Member" of the Grand Ole Opry goes to the curly-haired heartthrob Dierks Bentley, who has continued to have a string of top hits since the debut of his self-titled album. Bentley and other similar young artists have been dubbed "New Traditionalists" due to a style that is reminiscent of more traditional country "lovin', drinking', and cheating'" songs, as opposed the more pop-influenced tunes of the polished "Nashville Sound."
Background and Early Career
- Bentley was born on November 20, 1975 in Phoenix, Arizona. He graduated from the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey before moving to Nashville at the age of 19 to attend Vanderbilt University and pursue a career in music.
- His debut album was released by Capitol Records, and all three releases from the album peaked high on the country charts, including the #1 hit "What Was I Thinking'." Subsequent albums have included Modern Day Drifter and Long Trip Alone.
Grand Ole Opry Induction
- Bentley's induction into the Grand Ole Opry was unique in that the Opry went to him on the road to extend the invitation. Grand Ole Opry member Marty Stuart surprised Bentley on stage at a show in Los Angeles, asking if he would "marry the Grand Ole Opry." Bentley accepted the "proposal," a WSM Grand Ole Opry microphone was brought onto the stage and Bentley was inducted as the youngest current member of the Opry.
Dierks Bentley at the Opry
- Although a hectic touring schedule keeps Bentley criss-crossing across the United States, he still makes frequent appearances at the Grand Ole Opry. Check out our Grand Ole Opry Blog for up-to-date schedules to see when Dierks will be standing behind the WSM Grand Ole Opry microphone again next.
Notable Hits You Might Hear at the Grand Ole Opry
- "What Was I Thinking'"
- "How Am I Doin'"
- "Lot of Leavin' Left To Do"
- "Come a Little Closer"
- "Settle for a Slowdown"
- "Every Mile a Memory"
- See the complete list of current Grand Ole Opry members!