Toby Keith merged his Show Dog Nashville with Universal Records South and celebrated by signing a new artist to the label — Trace Adkins.

Adkins made a surprise entrance at Wednesday's press conference to announce the Show Dog-Universal Music merger, then signed his new contract in front of reporters.

He left Columbia/Nashville for the new deal after 15 years and says he came to the decision after spending time on tour with Keith last summer and discovering they had "a common vision."

Adkins has had 15 top 10 hits and three No. 1 albums in his time with Columbia/Nashville. The singer has completed several new songs for his first album on the merged label and previewed them for Keith on Tuesday.

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