By the time Dierks Bentley performed on last night’s CMA Awards telecast with “Different for Girls” duet partner Elle King, he had already put in a full day. Minutes after winning CMA Musical Event of the Year for his duet with King, Bentley was on the stage outside Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena with Good Morning America‘s Lara Spencer, where he performed his new single “Black.”
Bentley, a 2005 CMA Horizon Award winner, was also nominated last night for Album of the Year for his 2016 release Black. While he lost that one to Eric Church’s Mr. Misunderstood, he got to introduce GMA viewers to the album’s darkly seductive, moonlit title track while the early morning sun was coming up in Music City.
If “Black” eventually reaches the pinnacle on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart, it will be the singer’s third consecutive Number One single from the album and his 16th career chart-topper. Whatever country radio’s reaction to it, the tune initially caused some confusion for Bentley’s wife Cassidy, whose maiden name inspired the LP’s title.
“My wife said, ‘I thought this was supposed to be a love song,'” the singer-songwriter tells Rolling Stone Country. “I said, ‘Black’ is the love song. And she said, ‘But it’s not a love song. . . it’s an in-the-moment love song.'”