‘Drunk on a Plane’ by Dierks Bentley: Spontaneous Story Behind Smash Hit

by Katie Maloney
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Country star, Dierks Bentley, reveals how a “terrible” idea turned into one of his greatest hits, “Drunk on a Plane.”

Written by Bentley, Josh Kear and Chris Tompkins, “Drunk on a Plane” began as a bad idea for a song about a hurricane.

Bentley says that he pitched his idea during a writing session. “I think there had been a big hurricane somewhere, so I was like, ‘How about a song called Hurricane You?’” However, Bentley says, he was met with a response that everyone in the music industry knows means your idea is terrible.

“In Nashville, if you don’t like an idea you say, ‘interesting.’ So that’s when you know it’s a bad idea,” jokes Bentley.

But all was not lost. Bentley’s idea inspired a brainstorming session and it wasn’t long before “Drunk on a Plane” started to take shape. The song is about a man who is left at the alter but decides to go on his honeymoon anyway. As he thinks about the trip that should have been, he gets progressively drunker.

But he’s not entirely alone – he has an entire plane of people ready to drink along with him. Bentley sings, “Buyin’ drinks for everybody but the pilot, it’s a party…I’m getting drunk on a plane.”

Dierks Bentley’s “Drunk on a Plane.”

Dierks Bentley Says The Song Is Comic Relief For His ‘Heavier’ Album

“Drunk on a Plane” is the second single from his 2014 album, Riser. He recorded the album a year after his father passed. Bentley says that the album is a little darker and heavier. However, songs like “Drunk on a Plane,” serve as relief from the heavier emotions that the other songs can elicit. Bentley says he wants the song “to be a release, not only to me, but the person listening.

“It’s like a gift,” says Bentley. ‘‘Thanks for putting up with that last song. Thanks for crying. Here’s your reward,’” says Bentley.

“Drunk on a Plane” was Bentley’s second number-one single from the album. The album resulted in seven overall nominations for the 2015 ACM Awards, including Song of the Year, Album of the Year, and Male Vocalist of the Year.

Dierks Bentley performs songs from Riser during the 2015 ACMs
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