This past decades crop of mainstream male country singers isn't so much made up of outlaws and drunks as pop singers who happen to have a twang in their step. It was a logical progression, and its hella easier to crossover to Top 40 in a pair of ripped jeans and T-shirt than nut-hugging Wranglers and a starched pearl-snap. Since 2001, Dierks Bentley, along with guys like fellow RodeoHouston performers Kenny Chesney and Darius Rucker, has been on the forefront of nice-guy country, singing the kind of tunes that John Mayer wouldnt kick out of bed. He has gone multi-platinum three times and released his first greatest-hits compilation in 2008 only four albums into his career. It probably doesnt hurt his chances that he poses with babies and puppies on the regular.
Wed., March 3, 6:45 p.m., 2010