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Trace Adkins
Trace Adkins 2011 (cropped).jpg
Adkins in 2011
Background information
Birth name Tracy Darrell Adkins
Born (1962-01-13) January 13, 1962 (age 62)
Sarepta, Louisiana, U.S.
Origin Springhill, Louisiana, U.S.
Genres Country
  • Singer
  • actor
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active 1987–present
  • Capitol Nashville
  • Show Dog-Universal
  • Wheelhouse
  • Verge Records

Tracy Darrell Adkins (born January 13, 1962) is an American country music singer and actor. Adkins made his debut in 1996 with the album Dreamin' Out Loud, released on Capitol Records Nashville. Since then, he has released ten more studio albums and two Greatest Hits compilations. In addition, Adkins has charted more than 20 singles on the Billboard country music charts, including the Number One hits "(This Ain't) No Thinkin' Thing", "Ladies Love Country Boys", and "You're Gonna Miss This", which peaked in 1997, 2007, and 2008, respectively.

"I Left Something Turned on at Home" went to No. 1 on Canada's country chart. At least six of his studio albums have received gold or platinum certification in the United States; his highest-selling to date is 2005's Songs About Me, which has been certified 2× Multi-Platinum for shipping two million copies. Adkins is widely known for his distinctive bass-baritone singing and speaking voice.

He has also made several appearances on television, including as a panelist on the game shows Hollywood Squares and Pyramid, as a 2008 finalist and as the 2013 winner on The All Star Celebrity Apprentice, as the voice for recurring character Elvin on King of the Hill, and the main role of Albie Roman on Monarch, as well as in television commercial voice-overs for KFC and Firestone.

Also, Adkins has written an autobiography titled A Personal Stand: Observations and Opinions from a Free-Thinking Roughneck, which was released in late 2007. He has appeared in numerous films, including The Lincoln Lawyer, Moms' Night Out, and I Can Only Imagine.

Early life and education

Trace Adkins from Sarepta IMG 3574
Sarepta, Louisiana, honors its home-town celebrity, Trace Adkins

Adkins was born in Sarepta, Louisiana, the son of Peggy Carraway and Aaron Doyle Adkins. His maternal uncle was the Christian musician James W. Carraway (1923–2008). His musical interest came at an early age when he was ten and his father bought him a guitar and hired someone to give him lessons.

At Sarepta High School, since defunct, Adkins joined a gospel music group called the New Commitments. He was also a member of the FFA. Later, Adkins attended Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. A walk-on offensive lineman on their football team, Adkins left the team after his freshman season due to a knee injury, without ever playing in a game. Adkins never graduated. After leaving college, he worked on an oil rig. He also played music in a band called Bayou. Adkins also worked as a pharmacy technician before pursuing a career in music. He lost the pinky finger on his left hand in an accident using a knife to open a bucket, and asked doctors to reattach the finger at an angle so that he could continue to play guitar. Adkins moved to play in honky-tonk bars for the next few years in the Ark-La-Tex area and eventually moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1992. In late-1994, Adkins met Rhonda Forlaw, who was an executive at Arista Records Nashville. Forlaw had numerous music industry friends come out to hear Adkins over the next few years. Scott Hendricks of Capitol Nashville signed him "on the spot" one night while Adkins was playing at Tillie and Lucy's bar in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.

Music career

Early career

Trace Adkins 1997
Adkins in 1997

Adkins' first single, which he wrote himself, "There's a Girl in Texas", was released in 1996, reaching the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts. It was followed by the release of his debut album, Dreamin' Out Loud, later that year. The album produced several hit singles, including his first Top 5 single, "Every Light in the House", his first Number One in "(This Ain't) No Thinkin' Thing", and another Top 5 hit in "I Left Something Turned on at Home". The latter single was also a Number One hit in Canada. His second album, Big Time, produced a Top 5 in "The Rest of Mine", but subsequent singles proved less successful. Adkins was named "Top New Male Artist" by the Academy of Country Music in 1997. In 1998, Adkins appeared on the PBS music program Austin City Limits (season 23). A change in management delayed the release of Adkins' third album, but the album (titled More...) was eventually released in late 1999. Although the album's title track reached Top 10, More... failed to achieve gold status. Adkins' daughter, Mackenzie, was featured in the "More" video.


In 2001, Adkins was injured in a tractor accident and had to cancel touring temporarily. Shortly after the release of his Chrome album, he entered a 28-day alcohol rehabilitation program in Nashville. Chrome was his first album to reach the Top 5 on the country albums charts; its title track reached Top 10 in late 2002.

In 2003, Adkins released two albums—a Greatest Hits collection and Comin' on Strong. The same year, he was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. He also made appearances as the center square on the game show Hollywood Squares, and did voice-overs in commercials for fast-food chain KFC. Only one single, "Then They Do", was released from this Greatest Hits compilation. This album, which succeeded the Greatest Hits collection, produced two singles: the Top 5 single "Hot Mama" and "Rough & Ready", which peaked at No. 13.

Adkins and Travis Tritt played the roles of prison convicts in a February 2004 episode of the television series Yes, Dear (Greg & Jimmy's Criminals).


In March 2005, Adkins released his album entitled Songs About Me. The title track was released as its first single in December 2004. The album's second single, "Arlington", generated controversy over its content (a first-person account of a fictional soldier who was about to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery). It was followed by "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk", which became a crossover hit, bringing Adkins into the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time.

2006 saw the release of Adkins' seventh studio album, Dangerous Man. "Swing", the album's lead-off single, peaked at No. 20, while the follow-up "Ladies Love Country Boys" became Adkins' second Number One single on the country charts and his first since "(This Ain't) No Thinkin' Thing" in 1997. Adkins' daughter, Brianna, was featured in the "Ladies Love Country Boys" video. The album's final release, "I Wanna Feel Something", proved unsuccessful on the charts; as a result, Adkins announced that he would stop supporting the single.

In August 2007, Adkins released a single entitled "I Got My Game On". Originally, the song was planned to be the lead-off to a new album, tentatively titled Game On; however, Adkins decided not to release a full album, and instead released his second Greatest Hits compilation, American Man: Greatest Hits Volume II, for which "I Got My Game On" served as the lead-off single. The album has also produced Adkins' fastest-climbing single to date in its second single, "You're Gonna Miss This". "You're Gonna Miss This" has also become his third Number One hit on the Hot Country Songs, as well as the most successful single to date on the Billboard Hot 100 (#12), Billboard Pop 100 (#19), and Hot Digital Songs charts (#8).

Adkins released his first book, entitled A Personal Stand: Observations and Opinions from a Free-Thinking Roughneck.


In 2008, Adkins released the single "Muddy Water," the lead single from X, which was released on November 25. The video for "Muddy Water" has an appearance by fellow Celebrity Apprentice competitor Stephen Baldwin as a man being baptized in a muddy river, and later approaching Adkins as a friend. It reached the Top 30 on the country charts, peaking at number 22. "Marry for Money" and "All I Ask For Anymore" were released as the album's second and third singles, and both peaked at No. 14 on the country charts.

In November 2008, Adkins made an appearance at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. He rode with his family on the "Jimmy Dean" float and performed his famous song "You're Gonna Miss This". In 2009, Adkins appeared in local Kansas City commercials to advertise season tickets and the 50th season of the National Football League's Kansas City Chiefs.

Adkins recorded a duet with country legend Ronnie Milsap called "My First Ride" to benefit fire-fighters and police officers in the U.S. and Canada. Then, after the song's release, the label said 'no' to radio stations playing it with no explanation given. Milsap led a protest at Capitol Records to "Free Trace" and allow the song to be played.

In November 2009, Adkins embarked on the Shine All Night Tour, a co-headline venture with fellow country artist Martina McBride. Also, in 2009, he recorded a duet with Blake Shelton titled "Hillbilly Bone", which was released as the lead-off single from Shelton's upcoming sixth album. On October 18, 2009, Adkins made an appearance on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to help Ty Pennington and his design team build a new home for the Marshall family.

2010–2014: Move to Show Dog-Universal Music

In January 2010, Adkins parted ways with his long-time record label, Capitol Nashville, and subsequently signed with Show Dog-Universal Music.

Adkins' first single with the label, "This Ain't No Love Song", was released on May 17, 2010, and served as the lead-off single to his ninth studio album, Cowboy's Back In Town. It debuted at No. 54 on the chart for the week of May 29, 2010. The album's second single "Brown Chicken, Brown Cow" released to country radio on January 10, 2011.

Two men in a small Dodge pickup truck lost their lives after crashing into one of Trace Adkins' tour buses on February 13, 2010. The truck was believed to have crossed the "no passing" line in the center of the road which resulted in the crash. Several members of Adkins' band were aboard the bus but were not seriously injured. Adkins himself was not on board the bus at the time. On October 10, 2010, Adkins sang the national anthem at Dallas Cowboys Stadium.

On December 18, 2010, Adkins performed at WWE's annual extravaganza Tribute To The Troops to amazing reception by the soldiers in attendance. He appeared once again in an episode of SmackDown live from Nashville, Tennessee, on May 13, 2011, as the special member of the WWE audience.

In March 2011, Adkins released "Just Fishin" which featured his youngest daughter, Trinity, in the video, which was shot at their farm. The song reached #6 on Billboard. On June 4, 2011, at approximately 3:35 pm, Adkins' home in Brentwood, Tennessee, burned down. On October 20, 2011, Adkins sang the National Anthem at game 2 of the 2011 World Series in St. Louis.

In April 2011, Adkins revealed that he had a crush on the Baylor Lady Bears' head coach, Kim Mulkey, while the two were in college at Louisiana Tech, then dedicated his performance of "One in a Million You" to her.

Mulkey's sister arranged a phone call in December 2011 between the singer and coach, during which Kim Mulkey invited him to sing at Baylor's home game against Connecticut; Adkins, unable to attend, arranged to perform the National Anthem at the Lady Bears' February 2012 home game against the Texas A&M Aggies.

In March 2012, Adkins visited the Lady Bears while on tour in Kansas City to encourage them before their NCAA Championships semi-final match; the team attended one of his concerts later that week.

In February 2012, Adkins appeared as a guest vocalist on Meat Loaf's album Hell in a Handbasket.

Adkins performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the West Virginia Mountaineers' home football game against the Baylor Bears on September 29, 2012; his was just the third live performance of the national anthem in the 32-year history of Mountaineer Field.

Adkins released a new album, Love Will..., on May 14, 2013. The album's first single, "Watch the World End", was released to country radio on May 13, 2013. In September 2013, it was announced that he was no longer on the Showdog roster according to the official website.

Adkins released his first Christmas album, The King's Gift, on October 29, 2013.

2015–present: Move to Wheelhouse Records

On April 6, 2015, it was announced that Adkins had signed with Broken Bow Records, under the Wheelhouse imprint. In August 2015, Broken Bow announced that Adkins was one of the first artists signed to the label's new imprint, Wheelhouse Records. His first single for the label was "Jesus and Jones", which was released to country radio on January 18, 2016, and peaked at number 41 on the Country Airplay chart. "Lit" was released to country radio on July 25, 2016, though it failed to chart. Both singles are on the album Something's Going On, which was released on March 31, 2017, via Wheelhouse Records, and its title track became a video.

On July 4, 2016, Adkins made a surprise appearance at his hometown Independence Day celebration in Sarepta, Louisiana. He joined on stage the Backbeat Boogie Band with several unrehearsed songs.

In 2019, Adkins appeared on Hardy's new album, Hixtape Volume 1. On the album, he appears on the song "Redneck Tendencies" with Joe Diffie. also in 2019, Adkins later reunited with Blake Shelton in Hell Right in Shelton's completion album Fully Loaded: God's Country


In 2012, Adkins signed a deal with truck stop chain Pilot Flying J to become the company's new spokesman. Adkins also lent his signature voice to Firestone as part of the "Drive a Firestone" campaign to revitalize the brand in 2012.

Television career

Adkins was a January–March 2008 contestant on NBC's The Celebrity Apprentice. Each celebrity contestant was playing for donations to their selected charity. Adkins played for the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network. Adkins chose the charity because his daughter suffers from life-threatening reactions to peanuts, milk, and eggs. Ultimately, he was the runner-up of that season, losing to Piers Morgan.

Adkins returned for the All-Stars version of The All-Star Celebrity Apprentice. He was the project manager for his team, Plan B, in the first task, which was to sell meatballs and won $670,072, a Celebrity Apprentice record for a first task, for his charity The American Red Cross. Together with Vegas illusionist Penn Jillette, Adkins made it to the finals again (becoming the first and only person in the history of the show to do so), where Adkins won and became The All-Star Celebrity Apprentice. He also broke the record for the highest amount of money raised for his charity by any one person in the history of the show, with $1,524,072 raised for the American Red Cross.

In 2019, Adkins became the host of a new series on INSP, Ultimate Cowboy Showdown. The series has run for three seasons.



Year Film Role Notes
1987 Square Dance Bayou Band Member as Tracy D. Adkins
2008 Trailer Park of Terror The Man
2008 An American Carol Angel of Death/Trace Adkins
2010 Tough Trade Scared Television movie
2010 Lifted Jimmy Knox
2011 The Lincoln Lawyer Eddie Vogel
2012 Wyatt Earp's Revenge Mifflin Kenedy
2013 A Country Christmas Sheriff Arrington
2013 Don't Let Me Go Driver
2014 The Virginian The Virginian Direct-to-video
2014 Moms' Night Out Bones
2014 Palominas Judge Guilt Roads
2016 Traded Ty Stover
2016 Deepwater Horizon Massive Man
2016 Stagecoach: The Texas Jack Story Texas Jack
2017 Hickok Phil Poe
2018 I Can Only Imagine Brickell
2019 The Outsider Marshal Walker
2019 Bennett's War Cal Bennett
2019 Badland "The General" Corbin Dandridge
2021 Apache Junction Captain Hensley
2021 Old Henry Uncle Al
2021 13 Minutes Rick
2022 Maneater Harlan
2022 Desperate Riders Thorn
2023 Among Wolves Michael


Year Show Role Notes
2003 King of the Hill Big John Episode: "Livin' on Reds, Vitamin C and Propane" (voice)
2003-2004 Hollywood Squares Himself 5 episodes Season 5 May 19-23, 2003, 5 episodes Season 6 Apr 5-9, 2004
2004 Yes, Dear Curtis Episode: "Greg and Jimmy's Criminals"
2004-2005 King of the Hill Elvin Mackleston 3 episodes (voice)
2005 Higglytown Heroes Cowboy Hero Episode: "Higgly Hoedown" (voice)
2005 Blue Collar TV Himself Episode: "Battle of the Sexes"
2005 My Name is Earl Himself Episode: "Pilot"
2007-2009 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Himself 2 episodes
2008 The Young and the Restless Himself Episode: "#1.8885"
2008 The Celebrity Apprentice Himself / Contestant Runner-up
2009 The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson Himself Episode: "1/21/2009 Trace Adkins, Perez Hilton"
2010 Ace of Cakes Himself Episode: "A Four Letter Word for Pastry"
2012 American Dad! Transvestite Episode: "The Unbrave One" (voice)
2013 All-Star Celebrity Apprentice Himself / Contestant Winner
2013 To Appomattox John Gregg 4 episodes
2015 The Night Shift Smalls Episode: "Moving On"
2015 Moonbeam City Sizzle Conrad Episode: "Glitzotrene: One Town's ..."
2018 The Voice Himself/Advisor Season 14 of Team Blake
2019-present Ultimate Cowboy Showdown Host 3 seasons broadcast; 4th one in production
2022 Monarch Albie Roman Main cast
2023 Barmageddon Himself Episode: "Mike Vrabel vs. Trace Adkins"

Personal life

Adkins has two daughters, Tarah and Sarah, with his first wife, Barbara Lewis, and three daughters with his third wife, the former Rhonda Forlaw: Mackenzie, Brianna, and Trinity. Adkins endorsed Mitt Romney and performed at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. He performed the National Anthem at Tennessee governor Bill Haslam's second inauguration in 2015 and a year later during candidate Donald Trump's nomination at the 2016 Republican National Convention [1].

At age 17, Adkins was in an automobile accident in which his 1955 Chevrolet pickup truck hit a school bus head-on. He broke some ribs, punctured both lungs and his nose was partially torn off. Adkins was forced to give up college football after a severe knee injury at Louisiana Tech. He has also experienced a number of serious injuries as an adult, including being shot by his second ex-wife Julie Curtis in 1994. The bullet went through his heart and both lungs. He survived and chose not to press charges. They got divorced after 3 years. In 1989, Adkins, along with nine coworkers, were stranded on an offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico during Hurricane Chantal.

In 2001, Adkins entered a 28-day alcohol rehabilitation facility. ..... In March 2014, Rhonda filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences. Rhonda and Trace then dismissed and expunged the divorce petition via T.C.A. Section 36-4-127 (Expunction of Divorce Records upon Reconciliation of Parties) due to an attempted reconciliation. Less than a month later, Trace filed for divorce. Since this time, the matter has been pending, with the parties awaiting finalization of their divorce. In August 24, 2023, the Tennessee Court of Appeals finalized said divorce. The case has now been remanded to the lower court.

On October 12, 2019, Adkins married Canadian actress Victoria Pratt in New Orleans, Louisiana.


Studio albums

  • 1996: Dreamin' Out Loud
  • 1997: Big Time
  • 1999: More...
  • 2001: Chrome
  • 2003: Comin' On Strong
  • 2005: Songs About Me
  • 2006: Dangerous Man
  • 2008: X
  • 2010: Cowboy's Back in Town
  • 2011: Proud to Be Here
  • 2013: Love Will...
  • 2017: Something's Going On
  • 2021: The Way I Wanna Go

Compilation albums

  • 2003: Greatest Hits Collection, Vol. 1
  • 2007: American Man: Greatest Hits Volume II
  • 2010: The Definitive Greatest Hits: 'Til the Last Shot's Fired
  • 2012: 10 Great Songs
  • 2013: Icon
  • 2014: 10 Great Songs: 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection

Billboard number-one hits

  • "(This Ain't) No Thinkin' Thing" (1 week, 1997)
  • "Ladies Love Country Boys" (2 weeks, 2006-2007)
  • "You're Gonna Miss This" (3 weeks, 2007-2008)
  • "Hillbilly Bone" Featuring Blake Shelton (1 week, 2009-2010)


Year Award Result
1997 ACM Top New Male Vocalist Won
2008 CMT Male Video of the Year - "I Got My Game On" Won
Grammy - Best Male Country Vocal Performance - "You're Gonna Miss This" Nominated
Grammy - Best Country Song - "You're Gonna Miss This" (Ashley Gorley & Lee Thomas Miller) Nominated
2009 ACM Single of the Year - "You're Gonna Miss This" Won
Grammy - Best Male Country Vocal Performance - "All I Ask For Anymore" Nominated
Grammy - Best Country Song - "All I Ask For Anymore" (Casey Beathard & Tim James) Nominated
2010 ACM Vocal Event of the Year - "Hillbilly Bone" with Blake Shelton Won
CMT Award - Collaborative Video of the Year - "Hillbilly Bone" with Blake Shelton Won

See also

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