Trace Adkins' biggest career hits have run the gamut of emotions: He's the man behind one of the saddest (and most controversial) war songs in country music, and he's also the one who brought the word "badonkadonk" into the genre's lexicon. Naturally, this countdown of the singer's 10 best tunes is a varied one.
Adkins' career has spanned nearly three decades and encompasses a dozen studio albums. The Boot's picks for his very best songs include early hits, more recent risers and that earworm of a tune that you still can't get out of your head (we're right there with you on that one!).
"Chrome"From: 'Chrome' (2001)
Is chrome technically a color? Maybe not, but the lady about whom Adkins is singing about in this near-novelty song seems to be a big fan of everything from shiny grills to Mack trucks. "Chrome" is a silly, fun Adkins classic ... even if he's confused about the difference between metals and colors.
"Hillbilly Bone"From: Blake Shelton's 'Hillbilly Bone' EP (2010)
This song is technically a Blake Shelton single featuring Adkins, but since the two basically split the song, it's just as much Adkins' as it is Shelton's in our book. If you ever need inspiration to let your hillbilly flag fly with pride -- no matter where you're from -- this song should be your anthem.
"(This Ain't) No Thinkin' Thing"From: 'Dreamin' Out Loud' (1996)
We all know love is blind, but in "(This Ain't) No Thinkin' Thing," Adkins makes the point that love is also brainless ... in a good way. This 1997 hit, all about the ways of love, was Adkins' first chart-topping tune, and it kicked off his career in a big way.
"I Left Something Turned on at Home"From: 'Dreamin' Out Loud' (1996)
The narrator in this song spends most of the time explaining why he's leaving his friends, a jukebox and the order he just gave his waitress -- and his reason has something (everything) to do with a call he just got from his girl. Thanks to lyrics such as "She's hotter and a whole lot sweeter / And all day long, she's been there alone," listeners can pretty easily figure out what she was calling about; it sounds like the late '90s version of a text saying, "You up?"
"Just Fishin'"From: 'Proud to Be Here' (2011)
"Just Fishin'" is the newest song on this list, but who can resist its sweet message, about a dad spending time fishing with his daughter ... and, thereby, subtly making priceless memories with his little girl. The song's even better knowing that Adkins is the father of five girls himself; his youngest, Trinity, is even featured in the "Just Fishin'" music video.
"Ladies Love Country Boys"From: 'Dangerous Man' (2006)
For the most part, Adkins' songs tend to fall into two camps: somber and reflective or absolutely gleeful. This one is a solid example of the latter.
"And she's riding in the middle of his pickup truck / Blarin' Charlie Daniels, yellin' 'Turn it up!'" Adkins sings in the uptempo tune. "They raised her up a lady / But there's one thing they couldn't avoid / Ladies love country boys."
And country music fans loved this song: "Ladies Love Country Boys" hit No. 1 -- Adkins' first time in the charts' top spot in a decade.
"You're Gonna Miss This"From: American Man: Greatest Hits Volume II (2007)
In the series finale of the television show The Office, Andy Bernard says, "I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them." It's a sentiment that perfectly sums up this nostalgic Adkins song. As a father of five, Trace brings a bit of extra knowledge of that fact to this No. 1 hit tearjerker and its lines such as "You're gonna want this back / You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast ... So take a good look around / You may not know it now / But you're gonna miss this."
"Arlington"From: 'Songs About Me' (2005)
Adkins' most controversial song comes from the point of view of a soldier buried at Arlington National Cemetery: "And I'm proud to be on this peaceful piece of property / I'm on sacred ground, and I'm in the best of company / I'm thankful for those thankful for those things I've done / I can rest in peace / I'm one of the chosen ones / I made it to Arlington." The country star has said that "Arlington" "is not a war song, and it has nothing to do with politics. This is a true story;" however, some families of men and women who were killed in combat objected to the song, and in a Fox News interview, Adkins said also that some believe the song glorifies death in war. "Arlington" peaked at No. 16 on the charts.
"Honky Tonk Badonkadonk"From: 'Songs About Me' (2005)
Love it or hate it, there's no denying that this wild celebration of a woman's ... um, assets ... is the most successful and popular song of Adkins' career. It was his first platinum-selling single, a No. 2 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and a Top 40 (No. 33) pop hit -- and, as country fans well know, still often heard on the radio. "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" is that song that everyone knows even if they've never heard Adkins' name.
Also, we're sorry for getting it stuck in your head again.
"Every Light in the House Is On"From: 'Dreamin' Out Loud' (1996)
The fact that this song survived the intense '90s cheesiness of its music video (really, Adkins dancing in the kitchen is something to behold!) and remains a favorite to this day is testament to what a solid country song truly it is. "Every Light in the House Is On" played a big role in the first half of Adkins' career, too: It was his second single, and his first Top 5 hit.