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From our friends at Music City USA News-Dierks Bentley's father Leon Bentley died Friday (June 1st) in Phoenix at age 88. The singer-songwriter confirmed the death in a Twitter message he sent Saturday morning, noting, "It was an honor to comfort him as he left us. Thank you, fans, for the time and understanding."

"My dad's my biggest influence in country music, because my dad loved country radio, so we always drove around listening to country radio -- George Strait and Hank Williams and Randy Travis and all those guys," said Dierks. "So, without him, I wouldn't be doing this, for sure."

A private memorial service is being scheduled. Because of his father's illness, Bentley had already canceled a Saturday night performance in Washington, D.C., following the Washington Nationals' baseball game. Following his father's death, he also canceled Wednesday's fan club party in Nashville during the CMA Music Festival. A spokesperson told CMT.com Saturday afternoon that Bentley currently plans to resume his performance schedule with a June 9th appearance at the WYCD Downtown Hoedown in Detroit and his June 10th set during the CMA Music Festival's nightly concert at LP Field in Nashville.

Dierks has been a good friend to us here at 97.3 the DAWG, and we are so sad for his loss.