George Harvey Strait (born May 18, 1952) is an American country music singer. Strait is referred to as the "King of Country," and critics call Strait a living legend. He is known for his unique style of western swing music, bar-room ballads, honky-tonk style, and fresh yet traditional country western music. George Strait holds the world record for more #1 hit singles than any other artist in the history of music on any chart or in any genre. As of 2010 he has amassed 57 #1 hits.
Strait rocketed to success after his debut single "Unwound" in 1981. While contributing to the neo-traditional movement of the 1980s, he amassed 18 number one singles and seven number one albums in the decade with hits such as "Fool Hearted Memory" and "Ocean Front Property."
By the 1990s, Strait had influenced a new breed of performers while continuing his own successes with 17 number one hits including "Heartland" and "Blue Clear Sky."
In 1992, Strait played the main character in the movie “Pure Country,” and released the film's soundtrack. It was his most successful studio album, producing such hits as "I Cross My Heart" and "When Did You Stop Loving Me."
During this period, Strait also released a four-disc box set career retrospective, “Strait Out of the Box” in 1995, which became the second best selling box set ever with shipments of 8 million in the United States. All in all, Strait scored 17 No. 1 hits on the Billboard country airplay charts in the decade, and carried his successes into the next century.
During the next decade for which he was named Artist Of The Decade by the ACM, he was elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame and won his first Grammy award for his hit album ''Troubadour''. Strait continued his previous successes during this time, producing a more contemporary sound with moderate cross-over hits including "She'll Leave You with a Smile" and "You'll Be There."
Strait won CMA Entertainer of the year in 1989 and 1990 and ACM Entertainer of the year in 1990. He has been nominated for more CMA and ACM awards and has more wins in both categories than any other artist. To date, he holds the record for the most Number One hits on the ''Billboard'' Hot Country Songs charts with 44 number one singles on that chart. Counting all other music charts, Strait has amassed a total of 57 number one hits overall, breaking a record previously set by Conway Twitty.
Strait has sold more than 68.5 million albums in the United States and his certifications from the RIAA include 13 multi-platinum, 33 platinum and 38 gold albums. His best-selling album is ''Pure Country'' (1992), which sold 6 million (6× Multi-platinum). His highest certified album is ''Strait Out of the Box'' (1995), which sold 2 million copies (8× Multi-Platinum due to being a box set with four CDs). According to the RIAA, Strait is the 12th best-selling recording artist with the albums in the United States overall.