A Nashville icon for more than two decades, Trace Adkins has made his mark on the
country-music industry. 11 million albums sold. Time-honored hit singles. Momentous,
fiery and always memorable live performances. GRAMMY nominations. CMT and ACM
awards. Nearly 200 million plays on YouTube. Hell, even a slew of movie and TV roles
have come the Grand Ole Opry member's way. But ask Adkins what's left to prove in his
career and the small-town Louisiana native says it's simple: the itch remains. To create.
To collaborate. To continually feel the excitement that comes after whipping up a new
song out of thin air and laying it down to tape. It's what, after all these years, he says he
still craves. "It's an adrenaline rush and I love it," says Adkins, who is back in the studio
working on a new project. "There's nothing else like that," the Louisiana naive offers.
"That is still my favorite thing to do in this business. Go into the studio with just some
lyrics and a melody and then let the finest musicians in the world help take it and turn it
into something magical. It liberates me. I just dig it!"
Working with some of Nashville's most respected songwriters, Adkins continues to find
ways to connect with his fans through music while recording what he describes as
autobiographical songs throughout his career. "Over the years people have asked me
'How could we get to know you?' Well, if you really wanted to know who Trace Adkins
is go back and listen to the album cuts on the records I've done over my career. Those are
the songs that reflect where I was in my head at the time I made that record."
It's an interesting change of perspective for Adkins, however, when he hits the road for a
slew of his now legendary live gigs. Where the studio offers him unique insight into his
current state of mind, onstage, when revisiting his classic songs like "You're Gonna Miss
This" or "Every Light in the House" nearly every evening, he says he's taken back, if
only for a brief while, to earlier moments in his life.
"It's hard to describe, I gotta be honest," he says of being overcome with emotion and
reflection when trotting out some of his time-tested cuts for adoring audiences. "I've
gotten to the point now where I'll be onstage singing 'Every Light In The House Is On'
and I look down at the crowd and realize that person right there wasn't even alive when I
recorded that song." He laughs. "To watch their face go, Oh, that's a cool hook, it's like
'Oh my god, that's the first time that person ever heard that song!'"
Adkins says he's profoundly touched that he serves as an inspiration to a younger
generation of country artists, much in the way he revered icons like Johnny Cash and
Merle Haggard when first moving to Nashville. "I dig it. I want to be in that position," he
says of taking the reigns as an elder statesman of the genre. "I want to be looked at that
way. I want those guys to think and know they can walk up to me and ask me anything
and know that I'm here for them and I'll help them however I can. I relish that position.
With one million followers on Spotify and over one billion spins on Pandora (10 million
spins per month), the longstanding country icon has yet to lose any of his trademark
passion and killer instinct for his craft.