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Born in Texas in 1952, George Strait has been a country music icon since the 1980s. The award-winning singer is known for his traditional country sound.
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Born in Texas in 1952, country singer George Strait began performing in a band while serving in the U.S. Army. He landed a recording contract in the 1980s with MCA records and produced numerous hit albums throughout the next three decades. Known for staying true to traditional country sound, he has won multiple awards and has the biggest-selling boxed set in country music history.
"Life's not the breath you take, but the moments that take your breath away."
Country singer George Strait was born on May 18, 1952, in Poteet, Texas. Strait is one of country music's most popular contemporary singers, well known for staying true to the traditional country sound. He was raised on a family-owned farm in nearby Pearsall, Texas, where he studied agriculture at Southwest Texas State University. Strait eloped with his high school sweetheart, Norma, before joining the army. While stationed in Hawaii, he began singing in the Army-sponsored band called Rambling Country. After returning to Texas, he put together his own band, Ace in the Hole, which gained a rather impressive local following.
After years of futile attempts at a record contract, Strait signed a solo contract with MCA Records in 1981. Featuring the hit single "Unwound," his first album, Strait Country (1981), was influential in increasing the radio play of more traditional, less pop-influenced country music. Strait went on to produce a series of No. 1 albums over the course of the next decade, including Strait From the Heart (1982), Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind (1984), Something Special (1985), Ocean Front Property (1987) and Beyond the Blue Neon (1989), all of which were certified platinum or multi-platinum. In 1989, Strait was named the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year, a feat he repeated in 1990.
In 1992, Strait made his motion picture acting debut in the film Pure Country, and recorded a slew of hit songs for the film's soundtrack , "I Cross My Heart," "Heartland," "Where the Sidewalk Ends" and "The King of Broken Hearts." In 1995, Strait released the four-disc career retrospective titled Strait Out of the Box, which had phenomenal sales that exceeded five million copies. To date, Strait Out of the Box holds the notable distinction of being the biggest-selling boxed set in country music history.
In the late 1990s, Strait released a handful of noteworthy albums, including Blue Clear Sky (1996), Carrying Your Love With Me (1997) and One Step At a Time (1998). Released in September 2000, his album, titled George Strait, yielded the hit singles "Go On," "If It's Gonna Rain" and "She Took the Wind From His Sails."
As the new millennium began, Strait remained a strong draw for country music fans. Two tracks from The Road Less Traveled (2001)—"She'll Leave You with a Smile" and "Living and Living Well"—reached the number one spot on the country charts and the entire album went platinum. 2003's Honkytonkville featured such hits as "Tell Me Something Bad About Tulsa" and "Cowboys Like Us." That same year, Strait received the National Medal of the Arts from President George W. Bush.
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