Trace Adkins marked another career milestone last night, appearing on the iconic Grand Ole Opry to celebrate his 20th anniversary as an Opry member.
Invited in 2003 by the late Little Jimmy Dickens – who stood on a stepladder to ask the towering star face-to-face – Adkins was officially inducted on August 23 that year by his personal hero, Ronnie Milsap, and has gone on to proudly represent the Opry family with countless performances since. Needless to say, last night’s appearance was a special one.
During the show, Adkins delivered two separate performances to a roaring crowd and nationwide audience – including “Kiss You All Over” with Exile, plus a special four-song set to close the show featuring mega hits “Songs About Me” and “You’re Gonna Miss This.” Surprising Adkins in between songs, the Opry rolled a congratulatory video message from Blake Shelton, where he joked “I’m so happy that I could not be there.”
Adkins shared onstage what being an Opry member for 20 years meant to him. “For me, it means that I’m a better man than I would have been had I not been a member of the Grand Ole Opry because I take it very seriously… And I try to conduct myself every day, keeping in mind that I’m a member of the Grand Ole Opry and I represent this institution, and I don’t want to do anything that might disrespect my family at the Grand Ole Opry. It probably kept me out of jail more times than I would have gone,” Adkins quipped.
He ended the night with the title track from his latest album, THE WAY I WANNA GO, while a montage of photos from the past 20 years of Opry moments lit up the signature barn.
A cake-cutting ceremony also marked the occasion, helping prove Adkins has become not just one of the Opry’s best-loved members, but one of the most respected members of the Country community as a whole. To Adkins delight, the cake was his favorite – red velvet.
With his patented mix of booming baritone vocals, traditional swagger and playful charm, the Opry celebration follows the release of Adkins’ 25th anniversary album, THE WAY I WANNA GO (Verge Records). Released in 2021, the project featured 25 tracks and a guest list which includes Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Melissa Etheridge, Pitbull, Snoop Dogg, Stevie Wonder on harmonica and more – as well Adkins’ latest single, the value-centric red-white-and-blue anthem, “Somewhere In America.”
Written by Jon Nite, Hunter Phelps, Michael Hardy and Zach Crowell, the uplifting standout inspired Adkins to host a free benefit concert called “SOMEWHERE IN AMERICA: A Concert For Mayfield” presented by KIOTI Tractor in May, which raised funds and support for the Western Kentucky area after it was devastated by tornadoes last December.
An official music video for “Somewhere In America” was also filmed during the heartwarming show, and after it premiered on CMT in July, Adkins has spent the rest of the summer touring all across the country on his nationwide SOMEWHERE IN AMERICA 2023 TOUR. See here for full tour details.