In the 1990s, George Strait became one of the most acclaimed country artists ever. He won CMA Entertainer of the Year honors in 1989, 1990, and 2013, a record 22 times over his career. He also won a Grammy award for his album ‘Troubadour.’ He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Strait grew up in Pearsall, Texas, the son of a high school math teacher who also operated a family ranch. He spent his weekends riding horses, roping cattle, and absorbing the values of rural West Texas culture. But he didn’t gravitate toward country music; as a teen, he played bass and guitar in a rock-and-roll garage band.
After college, he married his high school sweetheart Norma and joined the Army. He was stationed at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii and performed with the Army-sponsored band Rambling Country. It was there that he met a former MCA Records executive named Erv Woolsey, who signed him to a recording contract in 1980.
As he made his mark on the charts, Strait developed his distinctive style, blending honky-tonk with Western swing and elements of pop music. His first two albums, Right or Wrong and Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind, were a significant success. He recorded 17 subsequent number ones during the decade, including a string of five from 1983 to 1984.
As he enters his sixties, Strait continues to perform and release music at a staggering pace. He is still a favorite with fans, recently breaking his attendance record at Houston’s NRG Stadium to a crowd of 80,180 people. And though he doesn’t speak much to the media, multiple sources report that when he does open up, he is as pleasant and thoughtful as anyone.