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When Dierks Bentley‘s father Leon Bentley passed away last Friday, Dierks lost his first country music mentor too. In an interview before his father’s death, Dierks said, “My dad’s my biggest influence in country music because my dad loved country radio, so we always drove around listening to country radio.” He added, “Without him, I wouldn’t be doing this, that’s for sure.”

Dierks points to George Strait, Hank Williams and Randy Travis as some of their early country favorites.

Folllowing a private memorial for his father, Dierks will return to the concert stage this Sunday for a performance at the CMA Music Festival.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


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