George Strait was born on May 18, 1952. Hailing from Texas, this legendary country musician graced the world with his magical voice. Yet there was a time when he was rejected by every music label. He only continued singing because his wife convinced him to stay another year, in which he was discovered his hallmark is his musical style — a perfect blend of the western swing and honky-tonk — coupled with an unadorned yet alluring exterior: blue jeans, a western shirt, and a cowboy hat (classic!). So, what better way to pay homage to this artist than to celebrate his special day together? Let’s begin.
George Harvey Strait Sr. was born in Poteet, Texas, U.S., to Doris Jean Couser and John Byron Strait Sr. He was brought up in Frio County near Pearsall. When Strait was in the fourth grade, his parents separated. Strait, along with his brother John Jr., was then raised by his father, while his sister, Pency, moved away with their mother.
Strait started his musical career as a high school student who also performed in a rock and roll garage band. The singer took influence from The Beatles. Eventually, his predication swayed towards country music with several singers influencing his style — Lefty Frizzell, George Jones, Hank Thompson, Merle Haggard, Bob Wills, and Frank Sinatra. In the year 1971, Strait tied the knot with Norma Voss.
The artist enlisted in the U.S. Army as an infantryman that same year. Thereafter, he began performing with Rambling Country — an army-sponsored band. Strait served in the U.S. Army from 1971 to 1975, ultimately attaining the rank of Corporal. After being discharged from the army, Strait enrolled in Southwest Texas State University and graduated with a degree in agriculture. During his college years, the singer joined a country band named “Stoney Ridge” as a vocalist. Then, he began performing in Texas, Houston, and Huntsville. The band released many singles but did not achieve wide recognition.
In February 1981, Strait began his solo career with M.C.A. Records, releasing his first single titled ‘Unwound’ — and the rest is history Unfortunately, after the sad demise of his daughter in 1986, Strait limited his interaction with the media. However, grief could not hinder his success and the artist went on to garner 61 number-one songs on all U.S. country charts in over 30 years of recording. Moreover, he holds the record for most number-one singles and albums, platinum albums, gold albums, and multi-platinum albums in country music’s history (as of 2022).
Strait makes his debut and ‘Unwound’ climbs to number six on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
Strait releases the track ‘Fool Hearted Memory’ from the critically-acclaimed album “Strait from the Heart.”
Strait releases another number-one hit ‘Nobody in His Right Mind Would’ve Left Her,’ followed by 10 more subsequent hits ending in 1989 with ‘Ace in the Hole.’
Strait joins the Country Music Hall of Fame, one of the world’s largest research institutions and museums for the preservation of American vernacular music.
Billboard includes him in the list of the Top-25 country artists in the past 25 years.
Tickets for his last tour, The Cowboy Rides Away Tour, sell out within hours and Strait retires from touring thereafter.
Why We Love George Strait
His dedication and hustle
Strait navigated turbulent times throughout his life. Not only did he serve in the army, but he also attended university and completed his education – all the while following his passion for music.
He gives back
Despite his tremendous success, the artist remains humble. He raises funds for charities in the fond memory of his daughter by way of the Jennifer Strait Memorial Fund. In addition, he donates to the Wrangler National Patriot program and pays his respect to American veterans.
His heartfelt music
One thing that Strait does exceptionally well is conveying deep, heartfelt emotions with straightforward lyrics. Furthermore, Strait’s live performances are a clear exhibit of his talent, experience, and love for music.
5 Surprising Facts
Unrecognized without the hat
When Strait is not wearing his distinctive cowboy cat, the artist goes unrecognized in public.
Strait was not supposed to record ‘Unwound’
One of his all-time hits ‘Unwound’ was first pitched to Johnny Paycheck, but Strait recorded it as Paycheck was in jail.
He tragically lost his daughter
His daughter, Jennifer Strait, lost her life in a car accident in 1986.
His music is not autobiographical
Unlike most artists, Strait prefers to not tell his own story in his songs.
He donated fan gifts
Strait received a lot of flowers from women, which he donated to local hospitals due to a lack of storage on his tour bus.
George Strait FAQs
Are Jeff Bezos and George Strait related?
Yes, Bezos and Strait are distant cousins.
Does George Strait still perform live?
Strait retired from touring a long time ago. However, one can catch him performing on rare occasions, such as his spring concert in 2022.
When was the last time George Strait performed?
His last live performance took place on June 7, 2014, in Texas.
George Strait’s birthday dates