Dierks Bentley has evolved significantly since his “What Was I Thinkin’” days, and his new album Black is a testament to the maturity he’s developed as an artist, including his most recent single “Different for Girls.” The song, which is a duet with pop artist Elle King, is a bit of a deviation for the artist based on his past singles — something Bentley admits was a risk for him creatively.

“(I went) somewhere totally different with a song and an idea that’s very new for me to sing about,” Bentley tells the Tennessean of a song that muses about the way women tend to deal with heartbreak as opposed to men. It hints at a greater issue of respecting women.

"It’s a song I couldn’t have sung seven years ago before my daughter Evie was born. I could have, but I would have just sung it from one standpoint. Now I see it all the time. I have my girls … and I think the world is skewed some ways not in their favor,” he says.

Written by J.T. Harding and Shane McAnally, the song’s inclusion of King is just one example of the genre-blurring happening in country music right now, including Brad Paisley’s collaboration with Demi Lovato, Keith Urban’s song with Pitbull, and many others. Her raspy but warm vocals bring a sense of honesty to the song from a female perspective.

“Since I often write from the male perspective, I was really excited to be a part of someone else’s story that is jumping outside of the norm for a relationship song,” King said of the song. “The lyrics are really smart and I love that he is bringing a lot of attitude to modern country music.”

Bentley said he was drawn to King because of her fiery personality and the quality of her own music, and that she reminded him of Miranda Lambert.

Black was released in late May, and the artist says the record is deeply personal from beginning to end, even though it spans a variety of themes.

“The songs on Black range from the lonesomeness of an impossible relationship to ones that describe the feeling of finding that person that makes you forget the one that broke your heart,” the 40-year-old said. The record's first single, “Somewhere on a Beach,” was a No. 1 hit.

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