Dierks Bentley reunited with his collaborators Breland and Hardy on the stage of the 2021 CMA Awards on Wednesday night (Nov. 10).
The trio performed their current single, “Beers on Me” on a stage designed to look like an old brick bar with a massive Route 66 sign, harkening back to Bentley’s early, pre-arena filling days.
Flanked by Hardy on his right and Breland on his left, Bentley rocked flannel and his long lockdown locks underneath a massive neon sign of a beer and tap (just in case the lyrical message of the song was too subtle). And while all three took their turn during the mid-tempo toe tapper, Breland stole the stage with his silky smooth voice — something Bentley seemingly alluded to by changing the last line of the song to “beers on Bre” with a wink and a smile.
A fun-loving, feel-good romp that all three artists had a hand in writing, “Beers on Me” came out in July as Bentley’s new single. It’s also the name of his current tour, which kicked off in late summer 2021 and will resume early next year with a Canadian leg.
For Bentley, the song follows his latest hit, “Gone.” Neither of those singles is officially attached to an album, though the singer’s been dropping hints that that’ll likely change in 2022. He recently confirmed he’s got a new project in the works, also stating that the new music will boast “a whole different sound, probably” and that “it’s leaning a little more tradition in some ways.”
At the 2021 CMAs, Bentley is nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year — a title he’s never won before — for the ninth time. While he admits that it would be “nice to win” this year, he walked into Wednesday night’s show with a light-hearted outlook on the situation.
“I’ve been telling people for years I’m a better singer than Chris Stapleton, and no one believes me,” Bentley jokes, adding, “If I had this hardware that’s backed by scientific data, people might actually start believing me when I say, ‘Yo, I’ve been telling you I’m a much better singer than Chris Stapleton, and look, I have this plastic trophy here to prove it.’ It would really help put an end to the argument because I just don’t understand how people don’t understand that.”
The Country Music Association held the 2021 CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville. The show, hosted for the first time by Luke Bryan, returned to the venue — its home since 2006 — after one year at Music City Center due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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