Trace Adkins Relapses During Charity Concert

By McCarton Ackerman 07/20/16

“This illness is an everyday fight,” a source close to the singer told People. “Trace is a fighter and everyone is pulling for him.”

Trace Adkins Relapses During Charity Concert

Country music star and Celebrity Apprentice champion Trace Adkins has tragically fallen off the wagon. The 54-year-old was visibly intoxicated during a concert last week in New Jersey, but is reportedly determined to regain his sobriety.

The spectacle took place during a radio concert on July 13 in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, which was also a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. TMZ posted a video from the show in which Adkins is slumped on a stool and mumbling the lyrics to one of his songs. Adkins, a longtime supporter of St. Jude, since agreed to donate his performance fee to the hospital.

“This illness is an everyday fight,” a source close to the singer told People. “Trace is a fighter and everyone is pulling for him.”

Reactions to the performance on social media also indicate that Adkins is receiving far more sympathy than ridicule. Thunder 106 program director Chris VanZant posted a message on the radio station’s Facebook account, writing that “apparently we have one of our country music family who needs our love, support and understanding. I hope you’ll take a moment and send a positive thought, support and prayer.”

Concertgoer Jill Zangara Hartobey also wrote on Facebook that seeing Adkins in that state was “very sad. Felt so bad leaving but too hard to watch. Such a hard disease to conquer. Hope he can make it work.”

Adkins has long been open about his struggle with alcoholism. He completed a 28-day rehab stint in 2001 and most recently checked into rehab in January 2014 after getting into a brawl on a cruise ship. While headlining a country music cruise to Jamaica, he reportedly became agitated with a Trace Adkins impersonator who was performing karaoke on the ship, and their confrontation turned physical.

Adkins revealed in a 2009 Great American Country TV special that before his first rehab stint in 2001, his now estranged wife, Rhonda, staged an intervention along with his daughters.

"I was getting to the point where I was poisoning myself [by drinking so much]," said Adkins. "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. You're so weak that it's come to this. Man, I hated myself at that moment."

Adkins has recorded three No. 1 singles on the Billboard country music charts, most recently in 2008 with “You’re Gonna Miss This.” His most recent single, “Jesus and Jones,” was released in January.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.