The King of Country
George Strait is undeniably one of the most influential and popular country music artists of all time. With a career spanning over 30 years, Strait has earned himself the title “King of Country” with his smooth voice and stellar songwriting.
George Strait was born on May 18, 1952 in Poteet, Texas. He grew up influenced by country music legends like Hank Williams, George Jones, Merle Haggard and Bob Wills. As a teenager, Strait joined a rock and roll garage band but soon realized country music was his true passion. After graduating high school in 1971, Strait enlisted in the Army and began performing with the Army-sponsored band Rambling Country.
After being honorably discharged from the Army in 1975, Strait headed to Nashville to pursue a career in country music. He enrolled in Southwest Texas State University to complete a degree in agriculture. During this time, he regularly performed at different venues under the stage name “George Strait and the Ace in the Hole Band.”
In 1981, Strait landed a record deal with MCA Nashville. His first single “Unwound” was released in 1981 and climbed to #6 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. This kicked off an incredibly successful career for Strait. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, he charted an impressive 33 #1 singles including classics like “A Fire I Can’t Put Out,” “You Look So Good in Love” and “All My Ex’s Live in Texas.”
Strait has released 28 studio albums to date. Some of his most popular albums include Pure Country (1992), Blue Clear Sky (1996), Carrying Your Love with Me (1997) and Troubadour (2008). While staying true to his traditional country roots, Strait has incorporated elements of western swing, honky-tonk and pop into his music over the years.
When asked about his musical influences, Strait has frequently cited classic honky-tonk artists like Merle Haggard, Lefty Frizzell and Hank Williams. Strait aimed to keep their sound alive in modern country music through his own traditional style. His smooth tenor voice and ability to evoke a range of emotions through storytelling lyrics are signature to his music. While many country artists have crossed over into pop, Strait has always stayed true to his country roots.
Strait has experienced tremendous commercial success, with over 69 million albums sold worldwide. He holds the record for the most #1 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart with 60 to date. Strait was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006.
George Strait’s decades-spanning career has rightfully earned him the title of “King of Country.” He has influenced countless country artists and left an indelible mark on the genre. Strait continues to record new music and entertain audiences on his stadium tours.