Trace Adkins Cuts Show Short Due to Intoxication, Reports Say
Trace Adkins appeared to be intoxicated at a recent live performance for charity, according to multiple reports.
The 54-year-old country star played an acoustic set on Wednesday night (July 13) in Seaside Heights, N.J., as part of a fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and the following day social media exploded with rumors that Adkins — who has struggled repeatedly with alcoholism in the past — was too drunk to perform. Videos shared to social media appeared to show the singer slumped over on a stool and struggling to sing. He reportedly left the stage early.
The Asbury Park Press writes that fans who attended the Rockin' Country Thunder 106 Guys With Guitars Under the Stars show couldn't help but notice something was wrong with Adkins.
"You couldn't hear him except for him mumbling," a fan named Bill Erdek says. "My girlfriend said I think he's drunk or something and everyone was picking up their chairs and leaving."
On Friday (July 15), it was revealed that Adkins had donated his appearance fee for the concert back to St. Jude.
“The solution we reached with Trace in donating his appearance fee to benefit the children of St. Jude’s should allow each of us to move on from this event and realize that criticizing and intolerance does not advance the public good," Thunder 106 General Manager Richard Morena says in a statement. "Taking a positive and affirmative action is what matters and that is what we have done in this instance.”
"The events from last night were unfortunate and upsetting to many," adds station manager AJ Colantoni. "Nonetheless, all members of the country music world and empathetic fans of Thunder Nation are united in sending our love, support and prayers to Trace!"
Adkins has been very public in regard to his past battles with alcoholism. In 2001 he entered rehab after an intervention from his wife and family.
"I wish for anybody out there to never have to go through one of those intervention things where you sit down there and people start telling you what you're doing to them," he told GAC in 2009 (quote via Asbury Park Press). "You're so weak that it's come to this. Man, I hated myself at that moment."
The singer was reportedly sober for many years before he returned to rehab in 2014, after getting into a much-publicized scrap with an impersonator during a country music cruise. His recent single, "Jesus and Jones," directly addresses his public struggles with the disease.
A representative for Adkins offered no public comment on his performance in New Jersey when contacted by Taste of Country.