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As he has gained autonomy, Trace has proven his ability to cut consistently first-rate country music that is both aesthetically and commercially viable, and the resulting trajectory is unmistakable. "I've never had this much momentum," he says, relishing the moment even as he looks for ways to build on it. At a time when the Louisiana native's engine is hitting on all cylinders, it's no surprise his new CD represents yet another major step forward. Dangerous Man is a collection that proves once again that Trace is a master both of the rowdy-that place where fun, sexy and rocking come together-and of the searingly honest slice of life.
All of this, of course, follows in the wake of "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk," the kind of no-holds-barred smash most artists can only dream about. Its attraction for a wider audience can be seen in the fact that in a world where 70% of downloaded ring tones are urban and hip/hop tracks, some 75,000 people added "Badonkadonk" to their cell phones in just six weeks. The song helped increase sales of Songs About Me every week for four months, culminating in Christmas week sales of 134,157 albums - double those of the album's debut week and more than artists like Madonna, U2, Kanye West, Gorillaz, Green Day and Cold Play, all of whom had the added help of Grammy appearances. "Badonkadonk" also became the top-selling country song on iTunes, the year's #1 Dance Club Single & Video, and the #1 Video on both CMT and GAC, among many other accolades and accomplishments.
As the hits came, Trace remained one of country's most down-to-earth standard-bearers. People outside the industry took notice, and he became a regular on political talk shows, a spokesman for commercial products and a recurring voice on "King of the Hill." He appeared on ESPN's "Cold Pizza", NBC's "My Name Is Earl," "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson," the Food Network's "Emeril Live," "Hannity & Colmes," the "PBS National Memorial Day Concert" and many more. He could also be found taking part in an ABC Radio Veterans Day special and in a tribute to Kris Kristofferson as the legendary writer was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Ten years into his remarkable career, it's clear that Trace is on the right path.