By MARIJKE ROWLAND
Trace Adkins: Country star. Loving father. Shrewd businessman. Badonkadonk enthusiast.
The Louisiana native's multifaceted career has taken him from his honky-tonk roots to crossover success in the past few years.
Already a country music staple, Adkins has become a household name regardless of genre, thanks to his Billboard hits "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" and "You're Going to Miss This," plus his strong showing earlier this year on "Celebrity Apprentice."
Adkins performs Tuesday at the Bob Hope Theatre in Stockton. He spoke with The Bee on his way to his Nashville recording studio earlier this week.
Q: I understand you're in the studio working on your next album. When can people expect it and what can they expect from it?
A: I'm heading there right now. My best guess it that it'll be (out) early in the fall. It's not anything freaky. It's pretty much me stretching the boundaries and seeing what I can get away with, like I always do.
Q: You've had incredible success with two singles that couldn't be more different: the rowdy "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" and the ballad "You're Going to Miss This." Why do you think you were able to succeed with both?
A: Well, the "Badonkadonk" thing is just funny. I try to strike that balance in the albums I make. It's stuff I find profound, stuff that is just for fun, stuff that is suggestive and everything in between. Everything. And so with both of those songs, one is funny and one of them is a very emotional thing that impacts people who have kids. I can understand that, I have five kids. I found the song to be very poignant and personal.
Q: How did the chance to do "Celebrity Apprentice" come up, and what convinced you to do the show?
A: Well, I only did it for the charitable aspect. I was hoping to be able to raise awareness to the food allergies and anaphylaxis. My 6-year-old daughter (Brianna) has severe food allergies. That's the only reason I did that; my career is fine. Actually, I turned down (the show) at first. I said, "You're crazy, I'm not doing that." But when they explained charitable aspect, I got interested.
Q: And you ended up making it to the final two. Do you think you surprised some people?
A: I think I did great. I exceeded my expectations and certainly other people's as well. Hopefully, I did some damage to those stereotypes and perceptions (of country music), too.
Q: So, I have to ask, what was The Donald like?
A: He is exactly what you see on television, whether the camera is on or off. His persona, if not real, at least it's consistent. It's perpetual. You've got to give him credit for that.
Q: What kind of feedback have you gotten from the public and for your charity, the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network?
A: We raised well over $250,000 since the show has been over. That whole experience for me has been 100 percent positive. I've not had one single person say anything negative about the show. It was a win-win.
Q: What can people expect from your live show?
A: We'll make some mistakes and let everybody know that I'm not singing to tracks. That's the only thing going for us in the music industry anymore. The only thing you can't download is the live performance. That's the only card I've got left in my hand to play. That's what we live for.
On the Net: The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, www.foodallergy.org.