Trace Adkins marked another career milestone Wednesday night (Aug. 23), celebrating his 20th anniversary as a Grand Ole 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 represent the Opry family with numerous performances since.
During the show, Adkins delivered performances of “Kiss You All Over” with Exile, plus a special four-song set to close the show featuring 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.”
“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,” said Adkins. “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 wrapped 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 momentous occasion.
Adkins’ latest single, the value-centric red-white-and-blue anthem, “Somewhere In America,” inspired him 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. A video for “Somewhere In America” was also filmed during the show, and premiered on CMT in July.
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