The honor came after his first two albums went platinum. And it also followed a temporary Opry ban.
In 2005, Dierks Bentley was already a decorated country artist. His 2003 self-named debut album and his following album entitled Modern Day Drifter had gone platinum with over 1 million US sales each. The singer also had three Billboard chart-toppers under his belt. And his very first career single, What Was I Thinkin’, was among the songs that peaked at number one.
In other words, Bentley broke into the industry with an unmatched force. And his pre-fame job may have set him up for greatness. But more interestingly, it also got him temporarily banned from The Grand Ole Opry.
Before he was a famous country star, he was a researcher for The Nashville Network. And the Drunk on a Plane singer’s position had him working out of Opryland. He had a habit of working late so he could sneak backstage to watch concerts and meet singers. And after a while, Opry general manager Pete Fisher caught on to the hijinx and limited Dierks Bentley’s access.
Obviously, Fisher dropped the ban once Dierks Bentley made it big in Nashville. Bentley stepped onto the coveted stage as a bonafide country star on April 18th, 2003, the same month he dropped his first single. But don’t think the megastar is any less enthusiastic about The Grand Ole Opry Stage. Eighteen years and fourteen Grammy nominations later, he still finds any excuse he can to make a pilgrimage to Opryland.
“I actually come to the Opry even when I’m not playing,” he said upon his induction. “I just come out because there’s always great music.”
The Free and Easy artist even surprised his wife with a romantic dinner at the Opryhouse once. “We had dinner on the stage of the Opry, just to sit out there and be on it,” he said.
Dierks Bentley Was Formally Inducted at The Grand Ole Opry in 2005
On October 1st, 2005, country and bluegrass singer and songwriter Marty Stuart welcomed Dierks Bentley into The Grand Ole Opry.
“As country music has changed and grown through the years, the one thing that has remained steady is the Grand Ole Opry,” Stuart said as he inducted Bentley. “I am proud to introduce the newest member of the Opry, Dierks Bentley.”
“This here is the ultimate backstage pass,” Bentley said as he raised his new award in the air. “Maybe I could get this on a laminate? I share this honor with these guys behind me who ride the bus. Thanks!”