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Neal McCoy Asks for Understanding for Trace Adkins

Trace Adkins Neal McCoy
Michael Loccisano / Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Country singer Neal McCoy is asking the country music community for less judgement and more understanding for Trace Adkins, who has entered rehab after falling off the wagon.

Adkins was the scheduled headliner on the Country Cruising entertainment cruise, which ran from Jan. 12-19. According to initial reports from TMZ, the singer was in the ship’s bar during the trip to Jamaica when something happened that touched off a confrontation between him and a Trace Adkins impersonator who had been singing karaoke. The site reports that a physical altercation followed, and that Adkins departed for rehab as soon as the ship docked.

Love and Theft singer Steven Barker Liles — who witnessed the incident — said the confrontation was exaggerated, and that no punches were thrown. A representative for Adkins confirmed the singer’s decision to depart the cruise to go directly to rehab.

“Trace has entered a treatment facility after a setback in his battle with alcoholism,” the spokesman told Country Weekly. “As he faces these issues head-on, we ask that his family’s privacy will be respected.”

In a posting to Facebook, McCoy — who was on the ship, but did not witness the incident — admits that fans on the cruise were disappointed, and that they were initially not told the whole truth about the singer’s abrupt cancellation.

“I understand some of the cruise guest being upset about not getting to see Trace perform, and maybe hangin with him on the ship,” he wrote. “I do however think that sometimes things happen,,,, and everybody involved, in this case The Flying Dutchmen Travel folks and Trace’s camp, tried to do the best they could to keep people happy, even if it meant fudging on the truth at first on the reason he left the ship.”

He adds, “Obviously Trace is trying to do the right thing by facing this thing head on and getting some help. I have always thought of Trace as a no nonsense kind of guy with a Huge Heart!!! If you know him, you love him.”

McCoy states that Adkins and his camp have offered disappointed fans free tickets and a meet and greet at a future show as a way of mending fences. But he says the focus right now needs to be on Adkins and his family as they go through a difficult time.

“Maybe a little less rock throwing (that whole cast the first stone thing),” McCoy finishes.

Prior to his slip, Adkins had reportedly been sober for 12 years.

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