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Dierks Bentley Isn’t Surprised That Country Music’s Popularity Is Growing Worldwide

Dierks Bentley
Jason Kempin, Getty Images

Dierks Bentley‘s newest No. 1 song, “Living,” is about making the most of every moment of life. The singer says that earlier in his career, living life to the fullest might have taken him on grander, more extreme or farther-flung adventures, but these days, he admits, he’s happy staying closer to home.

“There was a time when I was almost jealous of artists in other genres of music who [had a big international fanbase] and got a chance to travel to, like, South America. I was like, ‘Ah, that’d be amazing,'” Bentley reflected at a recent press event.

Country’s ever-expanding fanbase means that, these days, artists frequently do tour internationally. Still, Bentley and his peers’ bread and butter is a stateside crowd.

“I heard the CMA is doing stuff in Germany, which would be really cool to go and do, but I would prefer to play Iowa now. I guess I’m getting old,” he admits with a laugh. “I’m happy I have fans in Iowa and Illinois and Kansas. If there’s listening [in other countries], that’s awesome, and hopefully one day I can travel over there with my family and do some exploring.”

Even so, Bentley says he’s not surprised that country music’s popularity is expanding overseas. “Once you listen to country music, I feel like it’s so hard not to like it!” he adds. “It’s the best. I think, originally, how we all communicated was [through] storytelling. So I feel like it’s the best genre for telling a story.”

For Bentley, that emphasis on storytelling means that country songs have more staying power than ultra-catchy, melody-driven pop bangers. “You can have … these huge, blockbuster songs, but they become almost like yesterday’s news so quickly. It’s like, ‘Onto the next thing,'” the singer reflects. “It’s like sugar as opposed to protein.

“These country songs just tell stories that are timeless, in some ways. It seems like if someone listens to a country song, they’re gonna get so deep in the genre that they’re gonna come out a fan. So, I’m not surprised,” he adds with a smile.

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