King George's Gems
Nearly two years ago, country music great George Strait announced he would be parking his tour bus for good, after giving fans one last chance to see the legend live on his Cowboy Rides Away tour. The year-and-a-half-long tour wraps up in June and has been one of the most successful outings in country music and beyond. In fact, USA Today reported that Strait's final show on June 7 in Arlington, Tex., was the single most popular event on StubHub back in January, with prime seats going for as much as $12,000 a pair! Strait, who turns 62 in May, will continue to record music, but plans to "just slow down a little" when it comes to touring. In fact, Strait has just extended his contract with MCA Nashville by five more albums.
Audiences first got to know Strait back in 1981, when he released his debut single, "Unwound." Since then, he has amassed over 60 No. 1 singles, selling well over 68 million albums in the process. Yes, you read that right. And that is why he is nicknamed King George. In 2009, Strait was honored by the Academy of Country Music as their Artist of the Decade, elevating him to a group that includes Marty Robbins ('60s), Loretta Lynn ('70s), Alabama ('80s) and Garth Brooks ('90s). This year the singer is up for the Academy's Entertainer of the Year award. With all the momentum surrounding his retirement, is there any doubt who will win this prestigious award? We think not. Either way, any excuse to get reacquainted with George Strait's amazing arsenal of hits will do, so we've put together a playlist of 70 of his songs -- more than half of which went to No. 1. Hit play and bow down to the King.