By JACKIE MOE
Nearly 30 years since his debut, country superstar Trace Adkins continues to be a commanding force in the music and entertainment world.
The six foot, six inch-tall Grand Ole Opry member is revered as a domineering figure — among his many achievements, Adkins has sold over 11 million albums, received multiple Grammy nominations and awards, charted 40 singles on Billboard’s Country Airplay Charts, and garnered over two billion streams.
Unmistakably recognized for his unique, heavy vocals, Adkins’ biggest hits include “Every Light In The House,” “This Ain’t (No Thinkin’ Thing),” “You’re Gonna Miss This,” and “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk.”
In more recent years, he has taken on acting and voiceover roles, including the voice for recurring character Elvin on the animated Fox show “King of the Hill” and the main role of Albie Roman on the Fox drama “Monarch.”
With several projects in the works, the 61-year-old star proves that he has yet to reach his peak – he is currently on the road for his headline Somewhere In America 2023 tour, which includes a stop at Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts on Aug. 1.
Adkins chats about lessons learned, where he buys his cowboy hats, his favorite moments on the road, and more.
Your deep, distinctive voice is often recognized as one of your trademarks. How did you develop and cultivate your unique vocal style?
Adkins: I’m not sure I developed it as much as it organically happened. I was exposed to different styles of music, and I try to incorporate those varying styles into my approach.
Is there a particular song that holds a special significance to you that you would like to share the story behind?
Adkins: I recorded “You’re Gonna Miss This” to sing at the wedding of my oldest daughter, Tarah. I never expected anyone to like it, and it ended up being a #1 song for two weeks in a row.
Your music often incorporates themes of resilience, patriotism, and the working-class experience. How do you choose the songs you record, and what draws you to these particular themes?
Adkins: I record songs that speak to me. Like the majority of my audience, I am from the working class so it seems like I have recurring themes of resiliency, hard work, heartache, and patriotism.
You have collaborated with a wide range of genre artists – Snoop Dogg, Stevie Wonder, Pitbull. Is there anyone you would love to collaborate with in the future?
Adkins: Nobody that I can think of but I have been honored to sing with several world class talents.
Do you have any memorable or funny stories from the road that you can share with us?
Adkins: While doing a show in East TN, I ripped my pants from the button in the front to the belt loop in the back. There was no graceful way out of it, so I paused the show, went to the bus, changed pants, walked back up, and finished the show.
Can you describe your live concerts? What is your audience going to experience?
Adkins: We do a “greatest hits” show and mix in a few new songs. I love venues like the Cerritos Center because it’s more intimate, allowing me to be more conversational with the audience.
Your contributions to charitable causes, including your support for the USO and the Wounded Warrior Project, are commendable. Can you talk about the importance of giving back and why these causes are close to your heart?
Adkins: I always answer this question the same way. It is a selfish endeavor on my part. If you have the opportunity to be in the presence of, to commune with heroes, then you should always do it.
Looking back on your career, what are some of the biggest lessons you have learned along the way, and how have they shaped you as an artist and as a person?
Adkins: Try not to take yourself too seriously and develop thick skin!
Lastly, your fans have asked me to ask you:
Where do you buy your hats?
Adkins: My “go-to” hat is a Stetson, and I buy them directly from Stetson. Full price, too!
Do you have any movie projects coming up?
Adkins: I have a western that I filmed earlier this year, and we hope to release it this Fall. I also have a TV project, Ultimate Cowboy Challenge. The 4th season is premiering on September 6.
What’s in the near (or further) future for you that you are excited to share with your fans?
Adkins: We have several things in the works, but none of them are far enough along in the process to share. Some new music, film, TV projects, etc.
Where: Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Dr, Cerritos, CA 90703
When: 7 p.m. Aug. 1
More info: https://www.cerritoscenter.com/