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By Suzanne

Trace Adkins

Interview with country star Trace Adkins, host and performer of "The American Country Awards" airing  live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Monday, Dec. 6 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX.

I'm not a fan of country music, even though I have lived in the south or Texas for the last 12 years or so. I didn't grow up with it. Trace Adkins is a bonafide country boy. He really lived the hard-working, blue collar life before he became a big star.  Although I don't know his music too well, or much about him, it was hard not to like him when listening to him on this call. He was very funny (perhaps in some ways unintentionally). He is the type that doesn't take any BS and says what he thinks, very plain. I like that about him. He also has a beautiful deep voice that I could listen to all day. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

FBC Publicity: The American Country Awards with Trace Adkins December 2, 2010/12:15 p.m. EST
SPEAKERS
Nicole Gonzales – FBC Publicity
Trace Adkins – American Country Awards, Singer

PRESENTATION

Moderator Welcome to the American Country Awards with Trace Adkins Conference call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. In just a few minutes, we'll be conducting a question and answer session. As a reminder, today's conference call is being recorded. You may begin the call. Please begin.

N. Gonzales Hi, everyone. Thank you so much for joining for the American Country Awards. Trace Adkins is the host and performing on the show. We look forward to speaking with you today. Thank you.

Moderator Our first question from the line of April MacIntyre with Monsters & Critics.

A. MacIntyre Excellent. I'm the same age as you and I remember my Dad always played Bob Wells records. I was wondering, there's a lot of great new artists that you're going to be celebrating in the show, but if you could bring back someone who's not with us anymore to perform, to show younger artist how it's done maybe. Who would it be for you?

T. Adkins Well I don't know if it would be to show people how it's done but it sure would be interesting to bring Hank Williams back for one show, wouldn't it?

A. MacIntyre Yes.

T. Adkins If nothing else just to see if he'd show up sober.

A. MacIntyre Are there any other acts that you grew up with? I knew you grew up in Louisiana and I live in Texas. I’m just wondering if there were any local acts, maybe some obscure acts that really shaped you musically when you were younger?

T. Adkins Well, Joe Stampley. I grew up about ten miles from where Joe Stampley is from. He was a big deal to me. He had some bit hits in the 70's. He would be an obscure one, probably, that I would point toward.

A. MacIntyre Are there any performers that you are looking forward to seeing for the Awards show, in particular ...?

T. Adkins No, I know all those people. I'm not impressed. I've heard them all do their … and so.

A. MacIntyre Reality television has been very good to you and Donald Trump sure loves you. I’m just wondering what you make of it all doing the reality shows and what not?

T. Adkins Well, I don't intend to do anymore of it. The only reason I did that was because of a charitable aspect. My career is fine. I don't really need to do that stuff unless if it's for like I said, unless if it has some nobler aim like a charitable thing. I'm not going to go run through the jungle and try to survive just because I prove that I can. That would be the shortest show in history anyway. They'd just say the first day I'd just take a big stick and say, “Everybody get off my island or I'll kill you,” and that would be the end of the thing.

A. MacIntyre Yes, I would fear for the life of anyone that handed you plate of bug parts or bull testicles saying, "You've got to eat this."

Moderator Our next question is from the line of Mike Hughes with TV America.

M. Hughes Trace, people always think of you as being very country. I was wondering of what you think of a Las Vegas setting for a show and what you think of Award shows in general?

T. Adkins Well Awards show, in general, I'll go there first. Speaking from the artist's perspective, it's like a family reunion, really. From the artist's perspective, that's what we look forward to. A lot of people think that we all hang together and run together and we really don't. I mean, we're all so busy trying to keep this career thing going that we don't have a lot of time to visit with each other. That's what those Award shows give us the opportunity to do is catch up with one another and just hang out together some. From that aspect, they're a lot of fun.

This Award show I'm really excited about because it's about time that we got a major Award show on a major network that gives the fans an opportunity to vote. I think we should have that.

M. Hughes Vegas, have you performed there very often? Does it feel funny to be singing really down-home stuff in such a different literary setting, or?

T. Adkins Well, this is the perfect weekend to do it, coming off the National Finals Rodeo out there. There have been a lot of guys wearing hats out there for a couple of weeks now. You can do about anything in Vegas, I guess.

M. Hughes Including country.

T. Adkins Yes.

M. Hughes Just one fun question, no matter where you are you're always the biggest guy in the room; you always have the deepest voice in the room. Let's say, at least, you get a guy Toby Keith who's almost as big as you, and you get Josh Turner who sings almost as deep as you do. Is it kind of fun sometimes to be with those guys who were sort of your kind of singers and people …?

T. Adkins Well, it's always fun to be with people who are almost as much as a man as you are, but not quite. Don't print that because see in print that's not going to come out right. It's going to sound arrogant and that's not how I meant it. I thought it was funny.

M. Hughes Well, Blake Shelton said that when he's with you he feels like he's a kid and you're the grown up. It's just kind of a fun impression of people.

T. Adkins That is the way it is when you're with Blake Shelton and it doesn't matter who it is. Miranda is the grown up in that relationship. Trust me. He's just like herding a child around, but that's what we love about Blake though.

Moderator We have a question from the line of Hunter Kelly with ABC News Radio.

H. Kelly Getting ready for the show there's been a lot of newer acts like in Steel Magnolia and Easton Corbin that I've talked to lately that are going to get some exposure on national television with this show. Do you think that's something that the American Country Awards offers as a chance for some of the country's newer artist to get exposure like that?

T. Adkins That's one of the things and that's important. Also, there's another award category in this show that nobody else does, which is there's an award for touring. The fans get to vote on what their favorite tour of the summer or of the year was. That's a different thing and that's great. Yes, there should be a chance for up and comers to try to peddle their wares.

H. Kelly How have you been preparing that to host this show? I know you've done some things like this, but what's been going on with your preparation?

T. Adkins I've just had a couple of conference calls with the writers and the producers and it's basically gone like this, "That's not funny. You're going to have to write something better than that.” That's where we're at right now.

Moderator We have a question from the line of Reg Seeton with TheDeadbolt.com.

R. Seeton After such an emotionally year with the oil spill and the economy. What does it mean to you to host the Awards especially knowing it's based around the fans?

T. Adkins Well, obviously, not a lot of thought went into it on their part choosing me. But, I think it'll be something that it'll be fun to do and we all need that right now. Just something, hopefully, with a little levity and let's not take everything so seriously for a couple of hours and just have some fun and listen to some good music. Give some people a pat on the back and have a good time.

R. Seeton After growing up and seeing Award shows with George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, even Alabama, how does it feel knowing that kids are now looking at you the same way?

T. Adkins That's okay. That's cool. I'm happy with that. I'm just glad that I've been around long enough to be in this position, to get tapped to do something like this. I never would have dreamed I would ever been hosting an Award show on a major network, I mean come on. Twenty years ago, I would have just laughed if somebody would even suggested that. This is great for me.

I'm going to run a tight ship too. I'm not going to let people give them big, long, drawn-out acceptance speeches. I'm just going to walk out there and say, "That's enough," and we'll just move on.

R. Seeton When you look at the evolution of country music, what's the heart of country that's stayed the same over the years, like from George Jones or Loretta Lynn's, to nowadays with you in the midst?

T. Adkins Country music is always gone through changes and transitions and there has been all kinds of different music, various types of diverse stuff that's come and gone. Today's no different. If you listen to a country music station, you're going to hear more diverse stuff than you will anywhere else just about. It's a big house.

Moderator We have a question from the line of Jamie Steinberg with Starry Constellation Magazine.

J. Steinberg What have you found the most challenging about hosting these awards?

T. Adkins Well, nothing's been challenging yet. We've just kind of gone over the script a couple of times. It's actually been fun to talk to the writers and get some sense of direction as to which way we're going to go with this thing and how we're going to have the most fun that we can possible have. I'm looking at it as a challenge because, of course, I've never done anything like this before. But I always find that stimulating when you get outside your comfort zone and do something that's different. This is certainly that.

J. Steinberg What will fans get to expect from your live performance on the show?

T. Adkins I don't know. I'll do the best I can and just try not to suck too bad. Hopefully, I don't get fired.

J. Steinberg In the middle of the Awards show?

T. Adkins That would be terrible, wouldn't it?

J. Steinberg Yes.

T. Adkins Come back from a commercial and somebody else's up there doing the thing.

J. Steinberg Yes, maybe Blake they’d ask to host instead and ....

T. Adkins Yes, we could break new ground though, fire the host in the middle of the show.

J. Steinberg What would you like to say to everybody who is a fan and supporter of you and your music and will be tuning into the show?

T. Adkins Well, this show is an opportunity for the fans to speak and for the fans to vote, you know. It's about time that we had an Awards show that the winners are not chosen by industry insiders that may have a political agenda or their own personal motivation, vote for whoever makes them the most money. This is voted on by the fans.

Moderator We have a question from the line of Suzanne Lanoue with TV MegaSite.

S. Lanoue You have such a great voice, not just singing, but speaking voice. Is there anything that you do to preserve your voice and keep it in good shape?

T. Adkins Well, I smoked for 30 years and drank a lot of whiskey to get it like this. I don't do that anymore. I got it about where I wanted it and I quit doing that stuff. Well, thank you, that's a nice compliment.

S. Lanoue There's no particular thing?

T. Adkins No, I don't do anything. I really don't. From years of singing in smoky beer joints, I just kind of developed some tungsten vocal cords and it very, very rarely fails me. I just don't have a lot of vocal trouble. It just always seems to be good for me.

S. Lanoue Well that's good and I hope it stays that way as you get older.

T. Adkins Yes, me too.

S. Lanoue Leaving your own music aside, if you had to pick—I know it's really hard—if you had to choose one song that would be your favorite one that you’d always listened to no matter what, what would that be?

T. Adkins That's tough, isn't it? Because I've got so many artists that I revere and their music has been so influential on me. I would be hard-pressed to just pick one. Please don't make me do that.

Moderator We have a question from the line of Chris Talbott with The Associated Press.

C. Talbott You seem to be diversifying your resume, lately, your acting and hosting and the other things that you do. Is that something that's important to you to have feet in different areas?

T. Adkins Well it's important to me because I enjoy it and I want to do stuff that I have fun doing. Like I said earlier, stuff that challenges me is stuff that stimulates me. I'm not saying that I'm bored with singing. I don't mean that at all, but just getting over into other areas and trying to do different things is stuff that I enjoy doing that. I enjoyed the acting thing. I had fun doing that. When I have time to do it, I do it. I'm not expecting to take a year off anytime soon from music to just focus on that, but as long as I can do it on the side and have fun doing it I'll continue to do it. Stuff like this that comes along, I'm very honored that somebody would trust me with an Award show like this. That's crazy.

C. Talbott I've heard you said recently, you're kind of everybody's straight man. I think that's been true for the most part. Here's a chance, I would hope, the writers are not playing you as the straight man in every gag. Is this something that's sort of pushing your skills or pushing you into a new area?

T. Adkins I really don't know how to answer that. I don't know how it's going to come off. I mean this maybe my first and last hosting gig, ever. Well, I hosted a Christmas party at my house one time. So, this is like my second, but this may be the last one.

C. Talbott You have touched on this already but I'll kind of ask you in a focused way, around Nashville a lot of the wags are saying, “Do we really need another Awards show?” But in all seriousness, how will this be different than all the other award shows?

T. Adkins Well and that's what I said too when I first heard about it. I said, "Really another award show?" But we do need this because we need an Award show that the fans get to vote and that's what this show is because their opinions are really the ones that ultimately matter the most. They're the ones that pay our bills. They're the ones that buy the tickets and the downloads and the CD's. There should be an Awards show where they get to voice their opinions. I'm not surprised that the wags would say that. That's how they are. That's what wags do.

Moderator We have a question from the line of Donna Hughes with Hughes Media.

D. Hughes Knowing your ability to, let's say, speak your mind. What can fans expect? You've had the conversations with the writers and stuff, but you have a very dry sense of humor. What can they expect and will you speaking your mind Monday night?

T. Adkins I probably will at some point. Yes, I don't know what to expect either. I may very well see something come up on the prompter and go, "I'm not going to say that," and go off the cuff and point at somebody who I think looks ridiculous in the audience. I mean, who knows. I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I'm going to have a good time with it. Hopefully, I don't just get them in trouble with the FCC or something. That would be bad.

D. Hughes That wouldn't be very bad, but they have the five second rule, don't they?

T. Adkins I don't know. They better.

D. Hughes What is it that you're most looking forward to for Monday night? What is the thing that you're least looking forward to for Monday night?

T. Adkins Well getting dressed up is the thing I'm least looking forward to. I may not even do that because it's my Awards show. I don't have to—I can dress how I want to. I can set the standard, if I choose, but the thing I'm most looking forward to is the trophy girls.

D. Hughes Of course you are.

T. Adkins So, there you go.

D. Hughes Christmas is coming up. You have five daughters and grandkids and stuff like that. Talk about your family gatherings for Christmas.

T. Adkins They're loud. It's just a very traditional thing. It's warm and fuzzy and kids running all over the place and people eating too much. A fist fight will probably break out, that's Christmas.

Moderator We have a question from the line of Daedrian McNaughton with Premier Guide Miami.

D. McNaughton You're doing double duty on ACA. Are they paying you extra?

T. Adkins We haven't discussed the payment yet. I think I'll get into that about a minute before I go on stage and I'll have a contract for them to sign. "Here you go, sign this by the way, before I go out there."

D. McNaughton As a first time host, what performance are you looking forward to? What's your favorite tour of the year or who is your favorite group?

T. Adkins My favorite what? I'm sorry I didn't catch that last part.

D. McNaughton What performance are you looking forward to and who's your favorite tour? Because you mentioned something about they're adding a new category, which is tour, favorite tour of the year. So I wanted to know your take on that.

T. Adkins My favorite tours are always the ones that I'm on, but that's just because I have the most fun on those. As far as performances go, I know all those people. I'm not really looking forward to any of those performances. Most of them aren't very good, so I don't know why anybody would even want to watch this show.

D. McNaughton Just as a follow up, over the years it seems like country music has moved away from its roots ... country pop, that sort of thing. Do you see a continuing in this trend?

T. Adkins Yes, of course. I think there's a good reason for that. I think most of the producers in Nashville that are really hitting their stride right now, the guys that are really the cream of the crop are of that age where they were influenced by that kind of music when they were growing up. So you hear it now in a lot of country acts. I think it's just a reflection of how they grew up.

Moderator We have a question from the line of Sammi Turano with TV Grapevine.

S. Turano My first question actually is about the charity work when you were on Celebrity Apprentice. Are you still doing work with that and if so what are your future plans on working with it?

T. Adkins Well I haven't been doing anything with that lately. I've kind of shifted over to the Wounded Warrior thing. I've been doing a lot of Wounded Warrior projects stuff for the last couple of years and I've gotten really involved in that. That's something that I feel passionately about. So that's kind of where I've moved my focus lately.

S. Turano What exactly is that in case … viewers don't know or are not familiar with that charity?

T. Adkins Well it's just a project that takes these wounded veterans and just helps them out and really tries to make sure that they can continue to enjoy doing the things that they did before they were hurt. It can be anything from taking them hunting and fishing, to whatever. It's a great organization and provides a lot of services for wounded veterans and I'm proud to be a part of it.

S. Turano One more thing, going back to Celebrity Apprentice, since you’ve done singing and acting and hosting, would you ever consider doing some kind of business thing?

T. Adkins That doesn't really interest me. No, I'm not a business man. I don't want to be a business man and it, quite frankly, bores me. I don't get off on it like some people do. Some people get their jollies from making a good business deal and it doesn't really mean anything to me.

Moderator We'll go back to the line of Daedrian McNaughton with Premier Guide Miami.

D. McNaughton Trace, you've had an amazing run in the past year and a half. You've gained a lot of support, a lot of fans support on the Celebrity Apprentice, the release of your new album. How do you feel about this boost in your musical career?

T. Adkins Feel about what?

D. McNaughton The boost. How do you feel about the boost in your musical career?

T. Adkins Oh, well, it's been a roller coaster ride. I mean there are highs and lows and there will be couple of years where you're having some big hits and things are going great and then it seems like you'll hit a cycle, at least in my career it's been that way. Then things will slow down for a year or two and it'll pick back up. I've been enjoying some success here recently. I've had an opportunity to do a lot of different things that it has exposed me to more people and so that's great. I'm having fun with it. Like I said earlier, that's really the main question.

I'm at a beautiful place in my career now. That is a point where I can ask that question, "Is this going to be something that I think will be fun to do?" If the answer to that question is, "Yes," then the other things don't really matter that much, you know the money and all that. It's just, "Is it going to be fun?" When I ask that question to myself about this hosting gig and that answer was, "Yes," and I'm going to go do it.

Moderator We have a question from the line of Hunter Kelly with ABC New Radio.

H. Kelly I just wanted to get your reaction of your Grammy nomination last night for the country collaboration with Blake?

T. Adkins It's great. That's good. Everybody likes to get a pat on the back. I don't know. I may go to the Grammy's. I went once before and man, that was a freak show. I may go back, just like going to the circus.

H. Kelly I know you were upset like with everything a lot of the country awards from the pre-telecast, the last time.

T. Adkins Yes, I know. Well, they don't want to put us on TV too much.

H. Kelly I don't think that's true. I just think they're out of touch.

T. Adkins Yes, well, there's that. Bless their hearts.

H. Kelly God love them.

Moderator Ladies and gentlemen, this will end our conference call for today. We do thank you for your participation and for using AT&T's Executive TeleConference Service. You may disconnect at this time.

N. Gonzales Thank you, everyone.

T. Adkins Thank you.

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