George Strait‘s career in country music spans more than 40 years. However, the singer himself really didn’t take an interest in country music until he was in high school.
Born May 18, 1952, the now-icon entered the world in Poteet, Texas, as son to Doris and John Strait. He was a big fan of news radio and the farmer’s report as a teen — his family owned a huge ranch and he helped out, so he always wanted to stay in the know.
Strait’s career in music started while he was a student at Pearsall High School, where he performed in a rock ‘n roll garage band known as the Stoics. When he left for college, he kept on that path, joining up with the country band Stoney Ridge after answering a flyer the band posted on campus seeking a new vocalist.
As the new frontman, Strait renamed the group the Ace in the Hole Band and quickly became the leader. The group played different honky-tonks and bars around south and central Texas.
In 1981, MCA Records came calling, and Strait signed with them and released his first-ever single, “Unwound.” It was a major commercial success, becoming a Top 10 song in country music at the time.
As Strait’s star shined brighter, he decided to try acting: The singer scored a part in the 1982 film The Soldier. Since then, he has appeared in a few other movies — Pure Country, most notably — and even voiced a character on the animated series King of the Hill.
There was no stopping this country heartthrob, and by the 1990s, he was a household name and had earned his still-standing title of King of Country Music.
Strait has amassed more than 60 No. 1 songs in his career and has sold millions of records, worldwide.
40 Photos of George Strait Young
George Strait is the undisputed King of Country. With a career spanning over 40 years, he has charted more than 60 No. 1 country songs and has more No. 1 hits than any other artist in a single genre.
Gallery Credit: Evan Paul
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Gallery Credit: Sterling Whitaker
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Gallery Credit: Evan Paul