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Dierks Bentley’s phone started to blow up earlier this month when rock icon Eddie Van Halen passed away (10/6) because many of Dierks’ friends knew how much Val Halen meant to him. However, Bentley did not take to social media.

He told us, “When someone passes away I don’t like the part of my brain that says, ‘Oh go to social media.’ It just seems like a weird thing we’re being programmed to do, but I should have said something about Eddie because all my friends texted me because I was the biggest Eddie Van Halen freak there was. At 13 bears old I discovered the electric guitar because of Eddie Van Halen and it changed my whole life. I stopped listening to country and started listening to rock and roll because of him.”

Dierks added, “He was a huge influence on me. All my notebooks in high school had a big VH on them and I was the biggest Van Halen fan there was. And luckily I got to meet him through Kenny Chesney when we did a show together a billion years ago.”

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