Arizona Centennial Commission Chooses "Home" for Official SongMarch 15, 2012
By ANDREA ROBINSON
FOX 10 News
Published : Tuesday, 06 Dec 2011, 8:36 AM MST
PHOENIX – He is one of the most successful country artists around. Chart topping hits and a fan base of millions — but to his mom and dad, Cathy and Leon Bentley, he is just Dierks.
“Every meal..when you cook a meal, he thanks you for it and he gets up and clears the dishes and I say no Dierks, you’re our guest here, ‘no mom I am gonna help you’ he is very humble,” said Cathy. “He is thankful all the time.”
“We say grace when Dierks comes everybody has to speak up and say something. He is a good example for his children,” she adds.
Her pride is undeniable.
“I know Dierks and he is so kind and he devotes himself 100 percent to Cassidy and the children and I don’t know how he does it with so little sleep. He has this extra sisso, is what they say in Finnish..this power that he can cope he is never grumpy.”
She has documented all of his hard work, his rise to fame — through pictures, videos and scrapbooks.
“So this is my video…this is 2011..I tape everything..Leno, country music, top 20 countdown, I just tape a little snip it and then it goes right to the videographer and he puts it on one CD…these are all the CDs he is on.”
But like any loving mom, she is equally proud of her other children.
Their daughter is a paramedic and their youngest son is working with the Peace Corps in Guatemala.
“They’re all special..I am very proud of Dierks. I think he has been like a snake in the grass goes from point a to point b in rapid time.”
She raised them here in the valley from humble beginnings. Leon was a stock broker and she was a homemaker.
Although they were a non-musical family, she recalls the point in Dierk’s life when he began his love affair with music.
“I remember he told me in 8th grade..he went to an 8th grade party at a friend’s house and the friend was just sitting back playing the guitar and Dierks wasn’t really interested in what was going on and he said I want to learn how to play the guitar, so his friend taught him and from then he just took off.”
He took guitar lessons in high school, then went on to study at the University of Vermont, stayed a year, then transferred and graduated from Vanderbilt.
While in Nashville, he played the music scene and finally got signed by Capitol Records.
That was 10 years ago and now his success has come full circle, bringing him back home to help celebrate the Arizona Centennial.
“I am so thankful that he is doing this. This is a big honor. He is first generation for him to be born here…there are so many other people that could have been chosen,” said Cathy.
“A country superstar, a motorcycle enthusiast, an Arizona native, first generation. As Cathy his mother just said, we couldn’t have selected a better person,” said Mandi Wimmer, Deputy Director of the Arizona Centennial.
As part of the celebration, Dierks will lead a motorcycle ride and his song, “Home” was also chosen as the official song of the historical event.
“We heard it the second it was released and we said this has got to be the official song of the Centennial Commission..it talks about unity, it talks about pride of where you are from, the country every state has its ups and downs, but it’s all about coming back together…celebrate an amazing time together,” said Wimmer.
But before Dierks kicks off the centennial celebration in February, he will be spending sometime here for the holidays.
“Unlike last year, they are all coming and they are all squabbaling over which rooms they are gonna be in,” said Cathy.