Well before his party got underway Tuesday evening (Feb. 21) at Nashville’s City Hall club, Trace Adkins ambled about the room, chatting with TV crews and stooping down to hug early arrivals. The nice thing about attending a Trace Adkins party is that even in the largest crowd, you can always spot the towering, black-hatted guest of honor.
Capitol Records staged the celebration to mark the platinum status of Adkins’ latest album, Songs About Me. This is his third CD to reach that level (which means that record stores have ordered 1 million copies).
On hand to share the joy were Adkins’ wife, Rhonda, and their three youngest children, Trinity, Brianna and Mackenzie. Other noteworthy partygoers were Adkins’ fellow Grand Ole Opry member, Hal Ketchum, Opry manager Pete Fisher and Scott Hendricks, the singer’s producer and the man who first signed him to Capitol.
As guests grazed around a lavish buffet of Mexican food in the center of the enormous, warehouse-like room and refreshed their drinks at the long open bar at the side, a specially produced video played on a screen at the back of the stage, enumerating Adkins’ recent career milestones and major media appearances.
Then Capitol president Mike Dungan called the crowd to order to begin the official presentations. The first presenter was Tammy Genovese, CEO of the Country Music Association. She noted that Adkins is a “very articulate” member of the CMA board and gave him a certificate commending his latest sales achievement.
“His career is absolutely on fire,” Dungan added. “Truth be told, we’re half way to double platinum.” Dungan then bestowed plaques on Adkins, his management team, Hendricks and fellow producer, Dann Huff (who did not attend), Adkins’ publicist and the team that created new mixes of Adkins’ format-crossing single, “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk.”
When all the awards were out of the way, Adkins spoke to the crowd. “These [events] always make me uncomfortable,” he said. “I go into the studio and sing these songs, and then it’s all out of my hands. I don’t peddle these records. … Thanks for comin’. Eat a lot and get drunk.”