By Annie Reuter

Dierks Bentley is nominated in seven categories at this year’s ACM Awards. The second-most-nominated artist (Miranda Lambert has eight), Bentley’s songs have struck a chord with not only country fans but with fellow artists.

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When sat down with Kip Moore and Darius Rucker recently, we learned the impact that Bentley’s songs “I Hold On” and “Drunk On a Plane” had on each of them.

Related: Dierks Bentley Is Honored By His Seven ACM Awards Nominations: ‘It’s Huge’

Moore says he “freakin’ loved” Bentley’s Song of the Year-nominated “I Hold On” the first time he heard it, calling it “a breath of fresh air.”

“It was awesome to see that song work because it was such a good song,” Moore asserts. “It was a well-crafted song, and it meant something. I could relate to that song so much ‘cause I feel like that’s how I am. I hold onto the things that mean something to me.”


Moore confesses that “I Hold On” is one of his favorite Bentley songs to date, and he says it was refreshing to see it work so well on country radio (it reached No. 1 last spring and has since been certified platinum by the RIAA).

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“I just think it’s so important for our genre, for those kinds of songs to work,” Moore adds. “It’s so refreshing and it feels so good to be in the genre and to be a writer when you hear well crafted songs working on the charts. It just give you that hope. I want to be proud of my genre and I want to be proud of what’s going on in it. When you hear great songs like that, that’s what it does.”

Related: ACM Award Nominations: Complete List of 2015 Nominees

Darius Rucker feels the same. He said the first time he heard “I Hold On” he went home and downloaded it off iTunes.

“I’m a big Dierks fan,” he says with a large smile. “I’m never surprised when he has a song out that moves me and makes me want to go to iTunes when you shouldn’t as soon as I stop at a stoplight and try to [get it].”

Rucker says Bentley is an artist that always makes him want to purchase his music. As a result, Rucker bought “I Hold On” and “Drunk On a Plane” the day he heard them. The latter, he said he thinks is a “genius” song.

Related: Behind the Song: Dierks Bentley’s “Drunk on a Plane”

“I was riding in my hometown and listening to the radio like I always do and it came on and I just smiled,” he said of “Drunk On a Plane.” “Really cool idea. Cool song. Great melody. Right where Dierks’ voice is king. Genius.”

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