If you love Dierks Bentley, you can thank (in part) Hank Williams Jr.’s song “Man to Man” for igniting his passion for the country genre. “Up to that point, I loved music — all kinds of music, he tells PEOPLE. “But it was that exact moment I knew I wanted to be a country singer.”
For Miranda Lambert, it was “Desperadoes Waiting for a Train” by Guy Clark. “The first feeling you have, when you really feel something by hearing a song? It was that song,” she says.
• Who should win at #CMAawards50? Record a video with your vote atburst.com/CMA50Live to be featured on PEOPLE and EW’s red carpet LIVE show, airing Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 5:30 p.m. ETon our homepages or the newPeople/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the PEN app on Apple TV, Roku Players, Amazon Fire TV, Xumo, Chromecast, iOS and Android devices.
- PEOPLE’s Special Edition 50 Years of the CMA Awards is on sale now online and on newsstands.