The Top 10 Trace Adkins songs come from the 12 studio albums and multiple greatest hits packages he's released since he first escaped the offshore Louisiana oil rigs in 1996.
The common trend is for an artist to reach their peak during the third or fourth album and then fight to maintain a spot among country music heavy-hitters until deciding to slow down. Adkins has been something of a late bloomer, however. While he scored four Top 5 hits early on, he cooled off until releasing Comin' On Strong, his fifth studio album, in 2003.
Six of the songs on this list of the best Trace Adkins songs come from that album or projects released later in the big man's career. Now late in his fifties, he's competing for radio space alongside men and women half his age, but he is still a credible voice for the country audience. Like all great country singers, Adkins manages to reach out to fans of all ages and backgrounds. If you don't like the No. 1 song on this Top 10 Trace Adkins Songs list, you probably love the No. 2 song, and vice versa.
"Jesus and Jones" was Adkins' first new release under a new deal with Wheelhouse Records, a division of Nashville's BBR Music Group. Written by Tucker Beathard, Tyler Farr and Jim McCormick, the song was released in January of 2016. Though it was not one of his biggest chart hits, it earns a spot as one of Trace Adkins Top 10 Songs because of the very personal nature of the lyrics.
"(This Ain't) No Thinkin' Thing"
This hit was Adkins' first chart-topper. It's not the oldest song on the Top 10 Trace Adkins Songs list, but it comes from what one could view as Act One of his career. In the late '90s, he was as hot as any newcomer could be, but his star faded until 2002. It's probably not a coincidence that he caught fire again after entering an alcohol rehabilitation program around this time, and that his most successful days came after he dealt with those demons.
This entry on our Top 10 Trace Adkins Songs list is a story of a dad spending quality time with his little girl, something with which the singer is very familiar. He's a father of five daughters, and he chose to include his youngest, Trinity, in the too-cute music video. "Just Fishin'" was nominated in the Best Country Song category for the 54th Grammy Awards.
This Shayne Smith and Ed Hill penned rocker served as a mid-decade anthem for country music fans nationwide. The song finds a way to sum up everything great about country music without coming across as trite or hackneyed. "Songs About Me" was the title track to an album that includes three songs on our Top 10 Trace Adkins Songs list and several others that fans begged to be released to radio. The song reached No. 2 on the Billboard charts in 2005.
Upon its release, this Top 10 hit felt like a career song for Adkins. Yet, despite moving lyrics and an emotional performance, it never quite blossomed into the commercial success some had thought it would. The 2003 hit is still among the all-time great remembrance songs, perhaps only topped in recent years by Alan Jackson's "Remember When." With the exception of "Arlington," Adkins wouldn't release another emotionally driven song like this until 2006.
"Ladies Love Country Boys"
More than 10 years passed between No. 1 hit songs for Trace Adkins. "Ladies Love Country Boys" topped the charts in 2007 and was the last of a series of edgy, rocking hits from the Louisiana-born father of five. The then 45-year-old singer had pushed the limits of this genre with "Swing," but he returned to the realm of reality with a track that fit his hip-yet-wise persona. One could say that this song brought to a close the second act of Trace Adkins' three-act (so far) career.
"Every Light in the House Is On"
The late Kent Robbins penned this piece, No. 4 on our Top 10 Trace Adkins Songs list. It was Adkins' first breakout hit, after his debut single reached the Top 20 just months earlier. It showed that behind his imposing figure was a man with a soft heart and a few scars. Critics heaped praise on this Adkins song, which included a video featuring a much skinnier country singer longing for a woman who exits his life by train. (Who leaves by train anymore?)
Adkins displayed his softer, more emotional side on "I'm Tryin'," written by Jeffrey Steele, Chris Wallin and Anthony Smith. The song described the struggles faced by a recently divorced man who is expressing his hard times with money, his job and his emotions, as he states that he is simply doing the best that he can. Released in 2001, the song reached No. 6 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
"Arlington" was on its way to becoming a Top 10 hit, maybe even a chart-topper, before families of U.S. men and women killed in combat voiced opposition, saying the poignant tribute to those who've given the ultimate sacrifice hit too close to home. It's certainly an understandable point of view, and not wanting to offend those people, Adkins decided to pull the song from country radio. Writers Jeremy Spillman and Dave Turnbull penned a brilliant first-person narrative about the tragic arc of a soldier, and many Adkins fans will argue it's the best performance of his career. A longer shelf life would certainly have moved it up a spot or two on this list of the Top 10 Trace Adkins Songs.
There is only one song on our Top 10 Trace Adkins Songs list that became a phenomenon. From the moment the Songs About Me album was released, fans were clamoring to hear "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" on the radio. Men, women, kids, grandparents and everyone in between found themselves tapping a foot, shaking their hips or rocking the booty to this earworm. It's Adkins only platinum single, and the one fans most looking forward to hearing at concerts. The catch-22 is that even when he's 75 or 80 years old, the big man will still have to play this song live. That will be a sight to behold.