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Texas State alumnus Strait named Artist of Decade

Posted by University News Service

June 3, 2009 

 Texas State alumnus George Strait was recently named the Artist of the Decade by the Academy of Country Music.

The award was celebrated with a concert in tribute to Strait, which featured performance by country music stars including Faith Hill, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Sugarland, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban.

Strait became only the fifth act to receive the Artist of the Decade award. The others were Marty Robbins in 1969, Loretta Lynn in 1979, Alabama in 1988 and Garth Brooks in 1988.

Strait graduated from Texas State in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture. In 2006, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by the university.

During his time in college, Strait and the Ace in the Hole band played their first performance in San Marcos. He established an enthusiastic regional following, while perfecting his skills as a performer. He has since become one of the nation’s most popular country and western music recording and concert artists and achieved worldwide acclaim.

Strait has recorded 52 Number One singles, more than any other artist in any genre. He leads the all-time Country Music Association (CMA) award nominations with 73. He has won more than 40 major industry awards, including recognition by both the CMA and the Academy of Country Music (ACM) as Vocalist of the Year on five occasions. He has been named Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year on multiple occasions and has been awarded a Special Achievement Award by the ACM.

Strait has been a loyal alumnus of Texas State and, in 1985, established an endowment fund for the development and operation of the Freeman Ranch for agricultural, land and wildlife management, and scholarships. He has been honored by Texas State on two previous occasions. In 1984, he was presented with the university’s President’s Excellence Award. In 1987, the Alumni Association Board of Directors named Strait a Distinguished Alumnus of the university.