Dierks Bentley says country music needs Elle King because “we just need people to bring the crazy and in a good way.”
“She’s got a killer voice,” Bentley said. “She’s rowdy but respectful. I think that’s her own tagline, which I love. When you’re around her, you just never know what you’re gonna get, which is great. You look back at the history of the people in this town that made country music what it is, and all the people we love the most are the ones that are little out there. They’re supposed to shoot from the hip. And she definitely does.”
Bentley and King share the new duet “Worth a Shot,” which Bentley says started out with him on lead but switched to King when he heard how much she loved the song.
“I actually cut it at one point because I’m like, ’I just love this song,’” Bentley told Today’s Country Radio with Kelleigh Bannen. “For some reason, it came out to me that Elle was interested in it. I was struggling a little bit on my record, trying to figure out what I was doing. And I hate to stand in the way of a hit … As someone that writes songs and is respectful to the songwriting community in Nashville, the last thing you ever want to do is hold up a hit. So when I heard that Elle was interested in it, I was like, ’Oh my gosh, please.’ Because this song needs to be heard on country radio.”
The duet is a full-circle moment for Bentley and King, who also sang together on their 2016 hit “Different for Girls.” That time Bentley asked King to sing with him. This time, she returned the favor. When Ross Copperman played her “Worth a Shot,” she wasn’t sure that she could sing it.
“We laughed, and we’re like, ’Well, what if Dierks sang on it?’” King said.
Bentley said he feels like “the perfect foil to Elle in so many different ways.”
“My voice just holds the line there pretty good, down the middle,” he said. “It’s good for her to bounce her amazing voice off of because mine’s just toeing the line. I don’t have any tattoos, so I’m the opposite there in that way. We ying and yang really well together. And some of my rowdier days are behind me. So it’s a good partnership and friendship in so many different ways.”
King credits Bentley for paving her way into country music.
“Dierks is the one who really extended his hand and took a chance on me,” she said. “And once I saw the shiny rhinestones of country music, I was like, ’I’m in it. I want in it.’”