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There’s no doubt Trace Adkins is dedicated to country music.
The 60-year-old musician, who is set to portray Albie Roman in his first starring television role on the new FOX drama “Monarch,” recalled telling doctors exactly how to reattach his finger after he cut off his pinky during a drilling accident.
Adkins, a former offensive lineman from Louisiana, exclusively reminisced with Fox News Digital about the harrowing incident when he was working offshore on an oil rig, and was forced make a game-time decision to fix his finger in a way that would enable him to perform forever.
“I cut it off when I was working offshore on a drilling rig,” he said before a performance at the iconic Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. “Then, when they put it back on, it wasn’t going to work anymore, so they just had to fuse the joints. So, I showed him how I wanted it.”
Despite the real danger involved, Adkins only had music on his mind, and remembered telling the medical team, “I said, ‘Put it like that, so I could put it around the neck of the guitar.’”
The “You’re Gonna Miss This” singer has dozens of Top 40 singles, a collection of greatest hits and studio albums that have been certified by the Recording Industry Association of America, in addition to Academy of Country Music Awards.
“So, that’s what he did,” Adkins said. “At least I can hammer the strings.”
But nearly losing a finger seemed tame to Adkins as he thought about some of his wildest stories.
“I’ve been shot, cut, beat up, all kinds of stuff,” he said. “Busted by some broncos and on down the line.”
But on Saturday night, it was all about the music as he returned to the Grand Ole Opry to perform in the legendary venue.
“I’ve never had a bad experience out here,” he said. “I’m so respectful of this institution, what it stands for, what it means to country music and I take being a member of the Grand Ole Opry very seriously.
“I’m always mindful of the fact that I represent the Grand Ole Opry.”
Adkins made his debut performance on the Opry stage at the Ryman Auditorium in 1996, and was inducted into the organization in 2003. Members can only be invited to join the Opry through other members, and there are currently only 228 people ever to be inducted, with 68 living members.
“Being a member of the Grand Ole Opry holds how many spots at the top of my list of accomplishments,” he wondered. “Several before you get to the second one, but yeah, I love the Grand Ole Opry.”
Country singer Cailtyn Smith, who sings “The Card You Gamble” for “Monarch,” told Fox News Digital that she’s “grateful” for the chance to sing at the Opry.
“It’s always an honor to be here at the Opry,” she said. “It’s always just a mind-blowing experience to step into the circle that all of my idols have stepped into, Dolly (Parton) and Martina (McBride) and Reba (McEntire). It always is this spiritual, holy moment … to be able to step in there and share my stories and to sing here.”
Smith shared some of the singers who inspire her.
“I grew up a child of the ‘90s music, so all of these magical women of the ‘90s … Martina, Faith (Hill), Trisha Yearwood, The Dixie Chicks, I mean you name it. The best music of all time,” she said.
“I’ve had the honor now in the last handful of years to open for these women or sing on their records or write songs for them, so it’s been an incredible, fun journey living here in Nashville, living the dream.”
Adkins will soon return to TV with his new role on “Monarch,” starring opposite Susan Sarandon and Anna Friel, with guest appearances by Shania Twain and Tanya Tucker. He said he was a little intimidated to be working with Sarandon, who plays matriarch Dottie Roman, but caught on fairly quickly.
“It was terrifying at first, but then very quickly I realized that she is so good, so professional, that she is going to carry the scene,” Adkins said. “You just try to hang on and make it to the buzzer, and she’ll take care of it.”
When asked what it was like to kiss the Academy Award-winning actress, he simply replied, “It was an honor.”
Adkins also said he didn’t “really lean on anybody” for advice when it came to prepping for the role, even though his friends Blake Shelton and Tim McGraw have years of TV experience. Shelton has been on “The Voice” for years, and McGraw recently starred in the “Yellowstone” prequel, “1883.”
“Blake’s thing is a completely different animal,” he said. “You can’t compare that stuff.” Adkins said he hadn’t talked to McGraw, but added: “Tim’s a good actor, I’ve always respected what he does. I’ve just kind of done my own thing, haven’t had to really lean on anybody too much for a lot of advice.”
“Monarch” debuts with a special two-night event beginning Sunday, Sept. 11, on FOX.