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Remember Trace Adkins’ Third Wife Who Helped Him Launch His Career?

Trace Adkins and ex-wife Rhonda Forlaw Adkins
  • Arden is a Senior Country Music Journalist for Country Thang Daily, specializing in classic hits and contemporary chart-toppers.
  • Prior to joining Country Thang Daily, Arden wrote for Billboard and People magazine, covering country music legends and emerging artists.
  • Arden holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Tennessee, with a minor in Music Studies.

In 2014, fans were stunned when Trace Adkins and his wife of 16 years, Rhonda Forlaw, announced they were getting a divorce. This is already his third divorce. The country music artist definitely had a very eventful life.

Let’s learn more about the “Ladies Love Country Boys” singer’s marriage with Rhonda Forlaw.

She Knew Trace Adkins Would Be A Star The First Time She Met Him

Rhonda Forlaw first saw Trace Adkins playing in a club, and right then and there, she knew he would be a future country star. During her past interview with People, she revealed, “The first time I saw him, I knew he was going to be a star.” 

During that time, Rhonda Forlaw was working as a publicity manager at Arista Records. Thanks to her connections, she managed to help Adkins land a deal with Capitol Nashville. In 1996, Adkins released his debut album, “Dreamin’ Out Loud,” and his star never stopped soaring ever since then.

The album gave him several hit singles, and this includes “Every Light in the House,” which peaked No. 3 on Hot Country Songs and No. 78 on the Billboard Hot 100, marking his first entry on the chart.

Adkins Proposed to Her In A Very Special Way

The Grand Ole Opry has always been a special place for the country star. In 1996, Adkins made his Opry debut and performed “Every Light in the House.” But there’s another reason why it was a memorable event for the Louisiana native.

When he was done singing his first song on the prestigious stage, Adkins asked Rhonda Forlaw to join him onstage. Then, he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him; Forlaw was quick to say yes.

In 2003, Adkins graced the Grand Ole Opry once again. He was doing what’s supposed to be just another Saturday night performance when Little Jimmy Dickens got on stage after he finished performing his hit single “Then They Do.”

“Mr. Adkins, I hope you’ll accept my humble apology for interrupting,” Dickens said. “I’m just following orders. Our manager, Pete Fisher, asked me to come out here and ask you a very, very serious question: Just how bad would you like to become a member of our Grand Ole Opry family?”

Adkins got emotional while hugging Dickens and said in reply, “I want it bad.”

“I have a very important date for you to mark down on your calendar. Now don’t forget it,” Dickens continued. “As of August 23, you will become our newest member of our Grand Ole Opry family.”

Rhonda Forlaw was there too, watching her then-husband from the sidelines. 

They’ve Decided on Forever

On May 11, 1997, the couple finally tied the knot at Nashville’s stunning historic Belle Meade Mansion. They shared the happy event with more than 500 guests composed of family, friends, and colleagues.

After they’ve exchanged wedding rings, Adkins serenaded his bride with a song he has written with Kenny Beard, “The Rest of Mine.” “I can’t swear that I’ll be here for the rest of your life,” Adkins crooned, “but I swear I’ll love you for the rest of mine.”

It was a wedding described by guests to be like a fairy tale.

A Fairy Tale That Ended in Divorce

In the first few years, the couple lived a pleasant married life, operating on two levels, Rhonda Adkins said: “a business relationship where we work as a team and a personal relationship where he’s a man’s man; he’s the boss.” 

Sadly, after 16 years of marriage, Rhonda Forlaw filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. Rhonda Forlaw also asked for primary custody of their three daughters MacKenzie, Brianna, and Trinity, as well as for Adkins, to pay child support, alimony, and all of her legal fees.

Adkins, who was battling alcohol addiction in the past, was spending time in rehab during that time after he got into an argument with a Trace Adkins impersonator on a cruise ship. The couple quietly finalized their divorce in 2015.

“The Adkins have settled their divorce amicably. Rhonda and Trace made this decision together in the best interest of their family,” Trace Adkins’ attorney, Larry Hayes, Jr., said.

Well, we wish nothing but the best for Rhonda Forlaw as she navigates a new chapter of her life.

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