DIERKS BENTLEY BRINGS HOME THE GOLD

Dierks Bentley was all set to have a party celebrating the gold status of his self-titled debut album when he injured his knee during a performance on the Kenny Chesney "Guitars, Tiki Bars + A Whole Lotta Love Tour." But instead of Dierks going to the gold, the gold came to him. Capitol Records execs in Nashville surprised the "My Last Name" singer with a gold plaque just before he was wheeled into surgery on Monday, Mar. 29. Dierks is recuperating - and no doubt sneaking a peek at that gold album. "Surgery went well," he confirms, "and I'm at home recovering (ie, taking pain pills and watching TV...not so bad!). I'd rather have had my gold party at the Station Inn so I could drink beer and listen to bluegrass, but having visitors bring me a gold record isn't a bad way to go into surgery." Dierks plans on returning to Kenny's tour tomorrow in Grand Rapids, Michigan with concerts in Chicago; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Sioux City, Iowa before getting another break.

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