Dierks Bentley performs during the 2023 NHL Awards at Bridgestone Arena on June 26, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee.
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Dierks Bentley's 'American Girl' Previews All-Star Tom Petty Tribute Album: Everything to Know

“Petty’s southern roots shined through across his songwriting and storytelling."

Singers from all corners of country music are coming together to honor Tom Petty in an all-star tribute album, Petty Country: A Country Music Celebration of Tom Petty. The album (release date yet to be announced) will feature countrified versions of Petty's classic hits.

Petty, who passed away in 2017, had a profound impact on country music, with artists such as Brothers Osborne, Chris Stapleton, Margo Price, Tim McGraw, Thomas Rhett and many more listing the southern rocker as an influence. Even country legend Johnny Cash nodded to the Florida-born singer-songwriter with his chilling rendition of Petty's "I Won't Back Down" on American III: Solitary Man, released in 2000.

In 2013, Chris Stapleton even wrote a letter to Petty asking him to collaborate after the "Mary Jane's Last Dance" singer made headlines for calling modern country music "bad rock with a fiddle."  (I hate to generalize on a whole genre of music, but [country] does seem to be missing that magic element that it used to have," Petty said in a Rolling Stone interview (quote via Vulture). ""I'm sure there are people playing country that are doing it well, but they're just not getting the attention that the sh*ttier stuff gets ... I don't really see a George Jones or a Buck Owens or any anything that fresh coming up.") In 2017, Petty invited Stapleton to open for him on tour. In the years since, Stapleton has collaborated with Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell.

Here's everything we know about Petty Country: A Country Music Celebration of Tom Petty so far.

First Taste of 'Petty Country'

There is plenty of country/rock greatness to come on the album, and a tune from Dierks Bentley serves as the album's first single, released on Friday, Feb. 23. Bentley recorded Petty's 1977 hit "American Girl" for the project, adding an energetic bluegrass flair into the rock anthem. With the quick-picking sounds of mandolin, guitar and fiddle coming through, Bentley reimagines the classic hit while keeping its original message and feeling intact.

"Petty's southern roots shined through across his songwriting and storytelling," Bentley said upon releasing the song. "He might not have ever been considered as country, but you can't go into a bar in Nashville without hearing this song. It is one of the greatest songs in a life's work of great American songs. The spirit of this woman, the idea of such relentless hope - and disappointment - ignites such a spark."

Listen below:

More to Come on 'Petty Country'

Petty Country will feature many more of the rock legend's hits in country form. The album also brings together artists for unique collaborations. Though additional artists have yet to be confirmed, Thomas Rhett, Chris Stapleton, Luke Combs, Brothers Osborne, Wynonna Judd and Lainey Wilson are rumored to be taking part in the project.


READ MORE: Revisit Johnny Cash's Gritty Tom Petty Team-Up, 'I Won't Back Down'