NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Country star Dierks Bentley hopes that his new single reminds people that he's not always singing about being drunk on a plane, or being a beach bum looking for a rebound.
Bentley's new song, "Woman, Amen," is a rousing, drum-driven celebration of the kind of women that aren't typically profiled in country songs. And he'll be using the song to highlight real women during his performance at the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas on April 15.
"I think it helps counter out some of the other songs I have had out there," Bentley said recently as he was preparing to shoot the music video in Nashville, Tennessee.
Bentley is hardly the worst offender of lyrical stereotyping in Nashville, but he knows he's got a bit of reputation for songs like "Somewhere on a Beach," ″Drunk on a Plane," and "Am I the Only One," with the regrettable lyrics: "country cutie with a rock and roll bootie."
"'Woman, Amen' is hopefully really tipping the scales back into more of a level playing field," Bentley said. "I am definitely guilty of some songs just to party to."
Bentley is asking fans to submit pictures and stories on social media with the tag #WomanAmenACM of exceptional women in their lives who deserve recognition, which will be part of the performance being aired on CBS. Bentley said his wife, Cassidy, has been looking at the submissions and getting emotional.
"It's a song about celebrating a woman in my life and several women in my life," Bentley said. "I love seeing a song that's very personal to me, that's concrete and identifiable be taken by fans and they can use it in a way that's universal to them."
This year Bentley won't be co-hosting the awards show, as he has for the past two years with Luke Bryan. Longtime host Reba McEntire has returned this year to host the show and Bentley is just fine with that, frankly.
"Speaking candidly, I don't really see myself as a host," Bentley said. "I am more of just an artist and performer and songwriter. That's really what I like doing."
He said he had fun doing the comedy and skits and working with Bryan, but he's trying to focus his career on what's really important to him.
"I just try to strip away stuff that's not what I really love doing," Bentley said. "I have tried to break my life down into either a huge yeah, like 'Yes, I can't wait to do that.' Or no. And just make it easy."