Sunday night was a big one for Trace Adkins, with the veteran performer's win on NBC's "All Star Celebrity Apprentice." The singer told Billboard that he had a pretty good feeling about his chances from the beginning of the season.
"I came up here to win the thing, and from day one, I walked over to Penn Jillette, and I said 'I think this is probably going to come down to me and you," he said. "I think at the end, I just edged him out and raised a little more money than he did. I think I delivered a better commercial, and thought I outperformed him on that last task. I'm very proud of everyone who has worked with me on this thing. We pulled it off."
More importantly than a win on a personal level, Adkins takes pride in the fact that he was able to raise money for a charity very close to his heart – the American Red Cross. "I raised over $1.5 million dollars, and I hope that I raised some awareness that somewhere in this country at this very second, there's a Red Cross volunteer helping somebody, and that it's more than just the huge natural disasters. That's not all they do. If I made more people aware of that fact, then I did my job," he said, with a sense of satisfaction in his voice.
Adkins has just released a new album, entitled "Love Will...." The disc is a departure of sorts, with a heavy concentration on love songs. "I had a good time making the record. I got to work with a lot of different producers on it. I've been in Nashville for about seventeen or eighteen years, and don't know how I've stayed here that long and never worked with Tony Brown. It was a lot of fun to work with him. I also worked with some of my old friends, and teamed back up with Frank Rogers for the title track and the first single.
That single is the power ballad "Watch The World End," which features harmonies from Cobie Caillat.
He said the songstress was exactly what he was looking for. "I knew I wanted to have a female vocalist on this song, but not every female voice works with mine. Sometimes, the contrast is too great, and for me, it just doesn't sound right. But, she has that sultry sound to her voice. I thought it would work, and I think it does. I really appreciate her agreeing to be on this record. She just killed it."
Another highlight from the album is the powerful "If The Sun Comes Up," which has a very personal meaning to the singer. "Ray Scott, who is a friend of mine, and a great singer, wrote that song. It actually appeared on the soundtrack of 'Act Of Valor.' I've only performed it twice publicly, one time was at a Memorial Day event last year on the Lawn in Washington, DC. The other time was at the funeral for a dear friend of mine– his wife wanted me to sing it."
He also tips the covers hat to Exile with a version of their 1978 classic "Kiss You All Over," which features the group. "I wanted as many people as possible to hear that. Those guys are iconic in my book, and this is the 35th anniversary of that song being number one in sixty countries. It was such a global hit, and I was just proud that they asked me to redo it with them."
When asked about the reaction from his fans on the romantic change of pace, Adkins says "It's just been out a week, so there's not been a lot of feedback," then slyly says "there hasn't been a lot of people bringing it back and asking for their money back."
Adkins will be headed back to Washington, DC this upcoming holiday weekend – for an event that is very close to his heart. "I've been asked to act as an Honorary Grand Marshal for the Memorial Day Parade in That's a very humbling honor, almost to the point of being embarrassing, but I have tried over the year to do what I can for the different veterans' organizations," he states proudly.