When an artist reaches an achievement it is worth a "party" in honor of said achievement. MULTI-PLATINUM entertainer and TV/film actor Trace Adkins marked another career milestone last night (8/23), 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 – Trace 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.
The star of the night 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,” Trace quipped.
During the show, Trace 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.” He was surprised in between songs, when the Opry rolled a congratulatory video message from Blake Shelton, where he joked “I’m so happy that I could not be there.”
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 Trace 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 his delight, the cake was his favorite – red velvet.
PHOTO CREDITS: GRAND OLE OPRY, PHOTOS BY CHRIS HOLLO
It's an honor to celebrate being an Opry member, let alone for 20 years, and Trace has proven time and again he holds the stature with pride. Oh & just to add: He is one of my favorites. (Just had to throw that in !!) Thanks Trace for bringing us some great music, great concerts and oh man, that smile. !!!