The Grand Ole Opry stage holds many fond memories for Trace Adkins, beginning with his 1996 debut performance. In 2003, the 6'6" singer was invited to join the Opry by 4'11" veteran Little Jimmy Dickens, who stood on a stepladder to ask him face to face. Later that same year, one of Adkins' heroes, fellow Opry member Ronnie Milsap, welcomed him into the family.
Country music fans first embraced Adkins' rich, resonant baritone nearly two decades ago. His lengthy list of hits includes "(This Ain't) No Thinkin' Thing," "Every Light in the House Is On," "Then They Do," "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk," "You’re Gonna Miss This" and "Just Fishin'."
Adkins grew up in Sarepta, La. and developed an interest in music when his father taught him to play guitar. During high school, he joined a gospel group called the New Commitments. He spent time working on an oil rig before moving to Nashville to pursue a career in country music. After a record executive saw Adkins playing at a small club just outside of Nashville, he was soon signed to his first record deal.
Adkins, a spokesman for the Wounded Warrior Program, is well known for his staunch support of the U.S. military. He has performed for troops in Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan. In 2007, he was honored with the USO Merit Award in recognition of his dedication to assisting others through charitable works. In 2007, Random House published his autobiography, "A Personal Stand: Observations and Opinions from a Freethinking Roughneck."
In 2008, Adkins expanded his fan base beyond the country audience when he finished second on Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice. Because his daughter Brianna has severe food allergies, he used the time on that show to raise money and awareness for the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network. Adkins won All-Star Celebrity Apprentice in 2013, raising money for the American Red Cross.
Among Adkins' other television appearances are the GAC series Great American Heroes, which he developed and hosted, and FOX’s American Country Awards, which he co-hosted. He's also acted in several films including An American Carol, The Lincoln Lawyer and The Virginian.
“I always look forward to any chance I get to be at the Opry. This is such a special place for me.”
- TRACE ADKINS
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On Being An Opry Member
Photo courtesy of the USO
Opry member Trace Adkins kicked off the Opry's Circle Throwdown during the USO tour to the Middle East and Europe. During his performances, Trace threw down a replica of the famed six-foot Opry circle which sits center stage at the Opry House, sharing the excitement of the Opry's 90th anniversary with military personnel.