In a bombshell world exclusive, The ENQUIRER rips the lid off the country superstar’s secret, twisted life that insiders say has propelled him toward a sensational $20 million divorce.

The 52-year-old singer made na­tional headlines by confronting look-alike impersonator Mike Larsen during a country-themed cruise, and when The ENQUIRER inves­tigated Adkins’ massive meltdown, we discovered a shocking side to the performer that he hides from fans.

Sources say the REAL Trace Adkins is a 6-foot-6 brute who has blatantly lied about being sober, flies into gay-bashing and racist rants, hates many of his fel­low Nashville stars and is a serial cheater who openly boasts to pals about what he claims are his countless conquests.

“Trace be­longs in a mental ward!” declared an in­sider.

“He’s gone com­pletely off the rails. He’s drinking and is losing it big-time.”

Astonishingly, it was Adkins’ no­torious roving eye that indirectly led to the shipboard fight. Sources say the singer snapped because his long-suffering wife Rhonda began pressuring him for a divorce after he confessed that he’d fallen in love with married actress early last year.

A disgusted Rhonda reacted by booting her hulking husband out of their Nashville-area home and into a guest cottage on another property.

Sources reveal that Adkins’ extramarital flings are often accom­panied by boozing, and despite his claims of long-term sobriety, The ENQUIRER learned Adkins fell off the wagon more than a year ago.

Since then, he flies into booze-fueled rages, firing off four-letter insults about fellow country greats.

The hot-headed horndog and his 50-year-old wife Rhonda have tried to fix the problems with marriage counseling, but it appears to have only made matters worse.

“Several months ago, Rhonda suspected he was cheating on her so she confronted him during marriage counseling,” said a friend of Adkins’ beleaguered wife. “Trace denied the cheating for a very long time, but she continued to wear him down until he finally told her everything.”

“Rhonda was completely humili­ated by Trace’s bragging to buddies. And when his fans find out about all the women he’s been cheating with, he’ll become known as the Tiger Woods of country music.”

Not surprisingly, the more the singer drinks, the more hostile he gets.

“He becomes a belligerent jerk,” said one of Rhonda’s pals.

“But Rhonda has finally had enough. Now she’s telling friends that divorce is inevitable.”

With Adkins’ estimated $20 million fortune at stake, the confrontation is already turning ugly.