George Strait’s Ace In The Hole Band impressed club owner Erv Woolsey so much that he became Strait’s manager and got him signed as a solo artists to MCA records, where Woolsey had previously headed country radio promotion. In 1981, Strait’s “Unwound” became his first country hit, followed by “Down And Out” and “If You’re Thinking You Want A Stranger (There’s One Coming Home)” and set him on a path that would result in a string of top ten country hits that lasted into the 90s. Strait has achieved sales of over a hundred million records worldwide, making him one of the biggest selling artists of all time. Remarkably, they are all in a in a neo-traditionalist country style which restricted his radio exposure beyond the country format.
George Strait has more #1 charted hits than any artist of any genre.
Strait holds the record for most number one albums, gold albums, platinum albums, and multi-platinum in the history of country music. His RIAA certified sales include 13 multi-platinum, 33 platinum, and 38 gold albums. Strait is third only to Elvis Presley and The Beatles with the most RIAA certified gold and platinum albums.
He has received more than eighty industry awards, beginning in 1985 when he won both the Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music Awards for Male Vocalist of the Year and Top Male Vocalist, respectively.
He announced that his Cowboy Rides Away Tour, which began in January 2013 and ended in June 2014, would be his last. Strait certainly went out on top; he received the industry’s highest honor, the Entertainer of the Year award, in 2013 from the Country Music Association and in 2014 from the Academy of Country Music.