Dierks Bentley took part in the 2015 Country Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Sunday night (Oct. 25), helping to honor this year's new inductees, and the Arizona native says that the importance of the Hall of Fame cannot be overstated, both in how it honors country music legends and for its educational opportunities.

"I think we’re lucky to have the Country Music Hall of Fame," Bentley told The Boot and other reporters prior to the ceremony. "People come to Nashville because of country music, but then they come [to the Hall of Fame]. They walk around, they tour the exhibits. They see the names. They dig a little deeper and learn a little more about the music. They scratch the surface a little more and discover.

"When I went to Ohio, I went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I learned a lot more that I didn’t know. I knew the basic stuff, but I was sort of digging around, learning some new stuff," he adds. "I think that’s what this whole thing does."

During the 2015 induction ceremony, Jim Ed Brown and the Browns, Grady Martin and the Oak Ridge Boys were welcomed as the Country Music Hall of Fame's newest members. Bentley performed "Pop a Top" in tribute to Jim Ed Brown and the Browns during the event, honoring a man who personally helped Bentley in his career.

"At the Opry, he was always the guy I gravitated towards and looked forward to seeing," Bentley says. "Jim Ed Brown was somebody who always took us under his wing when we played the Opry, always there. Made us feel good. Made us feel warm and welcome. Funny guy. Great stories he’d share backstage. It’s sad about his passing."

The tunesmith also notes that the Oak Ridge Boys still inspire him to be a better singer.

"They’re great, because you can always practice a part," Bentley says with a laugh. "I try the bass part, which I can’t reach, baritone part’s pretty cool, and lead. Tenor’s too high. But I always loved listening to their music."

Bentley explains that he looks to the legends such as Brown, Martin and the Oaks for inspiration in his own career.

"Country music’s changed as much as the [Nashville] skyline. I just feel lucky to have been here for a long time," he says. "... I’m such a geek about the Opry. I just feel really lucky to have a foothold in the new."

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