There’s nowhere Dierks Bentley would rather be to ring in 2022 than Nashville. The country star is one of the headliners of New Year's Eve Live! Nashville’s Big Bash.

Bentley will pay homage to the spirit of Music City alongside Dan + Shay, Zac Brown Band, Jimmie Allen,Gabby Barrett, Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, Miranda Lambert, Darius Rucker and many other country stars who are part of a vast lineup. The show is broadcasting live from Bicentennial Capitol Mall beginning at 8PM ET on CBS.

This marks the first time Nashville has served as a location for a national New Year’s Eve television special, and Bentley is honored to be a part of it.

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“It's long overdue for our city to have a New Year’s Eve show,” Bentley recently shared with Taste of Country, The Boot and other media. “When I found out that this big CBS special is happening in my adopted hometown in Nashville — where I've lived for almost 30 years — I really wanted to be part of it because it's a special moment for the city, it’s a special moment for country music."

"There’s no reason why Nashville, country music shouldn't be the number one thing everyone's watching at home on New Year's Eve," he continues. "I can't imagine it would not be the most exciting thing to see on TV for all the country fans out there.”

From special collaborations to a setlist of hits, Bentley has plans to to make this an unforgettable night for country fans watching across the country. Here’s what to expect from Bentley’s performance on Nashville’s Big Bash.

“I really want to bring the party and keep it fun.”

Seeing as it is New Year's Eve, one of the most celebratory nights of the year, Bentley plans to keep the energy high. Regardless of the weather, the country superstar is prepared to get the attendees at Bicentennial Mall moving with a New Years Eve-friendly playlist.

"I definitely want to make the show tailored to New Year's Eve and that vibe. I really want to bring the party and keep it fun, and especially if it's cold out there, keep it up tempo. I’m sure I’ll probably intro some songs with New Year's Eve in mind,” he says.

“Get some good country music on there.”

And Bentley has plenty of songs to keep spirits bright. With a setlist focusing on the hits, fans can expect to hear his debut single and first No. 1 song, “What Was I Thinkin.’” “That could be a good song for the way most people are going to feel on January 1st,” he jokes.

Also up for consideration is the equally rowdy “Sideways” and bluegrass-leaning “5-1-5-0." “There’ll be some ways to tailor some songs to make them feel for that particular moment. I think when you're doing this stuff, you're also trying to find something that feels new, trying to find a way to make old stuff feel new,” Bentley explains of his approach, adding that his setlist aims to “get some good country music on there.” 

Collaboration is king!  

Alongside the upbeat songs, there may be some surprise collaborations in the works. With a whopping 50 artists set to take the stage, including Carly Pearce, Jon Pardi, Breland, Ingrid Andress and several others, Bentley hints that there’s a good chance for collaboration alongside some of his peers.

“[I’d] definitely love to have some collaborations. I've looked around to see who else is also playing on the stage with me, and there's some great artists there. So if they're hanging around, we're definitely going to be pulling people up and trying to make it great,” he suggests. “I really want to make it special for all the Nashville people, all the people that traveled to Nashville just for this one time event. Collaborations are the king of that, that's what makes shows unique and special.” 

Among the artists Bentley has his eye on for a collaboration is Sam Hunt, saying it’d be “fun” to sing with him, seeing as he fills in for him each night when tourmate Breland performs their collaborative remix of “My Truck.”

“I usually take Sam Hunt's part on ‘My Truck’ when I sing that with Breland, so maybe we can find a way to mash that song together,” Bentley says with a laugh. “I think people across the country are going to love watching collaborations and exciting stuff. They're going to see genuine fun, people really enjoying being there.”

Another special collaboration Bentley is hoping to make happen? The War & Treaty. Though the Americana Awards-winning husband-and-wife duo of Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Blount are not currently on the docket, the country star has a particular song in mind he’d like to perform with them that night, should he be able to convince them. Bentley and The War & Treaty teamed up for a cover of U2’s “Pride (In the Name of Love)” at the 2021 ACM Awards, and he's is hoping to recreate that moment on stage at the Bicentennial Mall in an effort to leave viewers with an uplifting message as they head into 2022.

“I may have to go drag them out there and ask him be part of it with me,” the "Gone" singer jokes. “That might be a good one to toss in. That’s always a good sentiment to have carrying into the new year.” 

“This is a new tradition.” 

Bentley and his family have spent the past several Christmases and New Year's Eves in Colorado, so the CBS special is drawing the singer back to his musical home. In fact, Bentley admits he has not played a New Year's Eve show in a “really long time,” instead opting to celebrate with his family, whether watching the famous ball drop in New York City on TV, or attending an in-person celebration in Colorado. The family of five often celebrates a new year by hitting the slopes. But the hitmaker is more than ready to rally this year, and he's coming into the show thankful to be able to perform in front of a crowd after a year being apart from fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He sees this as a new tradition.

“This is a new tradition to be in Nashville and to be playing a show. I can't remember the last time I played a show during New Year's Eve,” he reflects. “I feel like coming out of the pandemic, it's all about new, making new traditions and having gratitude for old things that you might have taken for granted. So for us to be in Nashville, the whole family will be down there and watching this thing. I’ve never been in Nashville for New Year's Eve, so it’s going to be a lot of new, which is exciting,” he says.

“I think it's a great way to kick off 2022.”

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