Happy Grand Ole Opry anniversary to Trace Adkins! It was on this date 20 years ago (Nov. 23, 1996) that the singer made his Opry debut, performing "Every Light in the House," from his freshman album, Dreamin' Out Loud.

Adkins' Grand Ole Opry debut was a memorable event for the Louisiana native for another reason as well: After he sang his first song on the famous stage, Adkins dropped to one knee and proposed to his then-girlfriend, Rhonda Forlaw. The couple wed in early 1997, but filed for divorce in 2014.

Adkins, who became an official member of the Opry in 2003, says that he feels a reverence for the famed radio show's winter venue, the Ryman Auditorium.

“It’s a special place,” he tells The Boot. “That’s the thing I like: There’s a spirit in the Ryman, it’s almost palpable. I enjoy going there. A little dab will do you in the Ryman though; then I like to go back to the big house.”

See a Photo From Trace Adkins' Football-Playing Days

Country Stars' Unforgettable Near-Death Experiences