The Top 20 Trace Adkins songs come from the 14 studio albums and multiple greatest hits packages he's released since he left the offshore Louisiana oil rigs in 1996.

The common trend is for an artist to reach their peak during the third or fourth album, and then fight to maintain a spot among country music heavy-hitters until deciding to slow down. Adkins has been something of a late bloomer, however — while he scored four Top 5 hits early on, he cooled off until releasing Comin' on Strong, his fifth studio album, in 2003.

Songs from that album begin what we call Phase 2 of his career. Rowdy, often risqué rock-country songs like "Hot Mama," "Rough & Ready" and "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" helped build him into a headlining country artist. A decade later he was fully committed to more pensive, often-though provoking ballads or mid-tempo love songs like "You're Gonna Miss This," "Muddy Water" and "Jesus and Jones."

All of these songs are listed on this list of Trace Adkins' best songs, which we have ranked. When you dive into his catalog you find that his risk-taking didn't always pay off — in fact, sometimes he failed in spectacular fashion. You also learn he embraced a wide range of styles, influences, subjects and structures.

From his early '80s-influenced sound to his too-soon country-rap vocals to his late-career wisdom, these are Trace Adkins' best songs.

Trace Adkins' Top 20 Songs: Love Songs, Military Tributes + Songs to Shake Your Country Butt To

Trace Adkins is one of the most versatile country music singers of the last generation, and this list of his Top 20 Songs proves it. Emotional ballads, stunning throwbacks, painful heartbreakers and meaningful songs of faith are scattered across his nearly 30-year catalog. Then, there are a whole lot of songs that make you want to shake your behind.

Scroll through to find 20 great Trace Adkins songs, ranked. You can almost break his career into three acts: The tender beginning, his more rowdy commercial peak and his pensive later years. While he has just three No. 1 hits, Adkins' wide range of subject matter and ability to use his voice in so many fascinating ways makes him an essential 21st century artist.

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