George Strait

As he cruises into his third decade atop country music's heap, George Strait's onetime ­rivals are nothing but fool hearted memories.

At an age when his onetime peers have been exiled to the nostalgia circuit (Randy Travis) or ridden into the sunset altogether (Garth Brooks), George Strait continues to crank out albums and hits at a pace that would shame even hardworking disciples like Brad Paisley and Tim McGraw. Truthfully, with more than 67 million albums sold and 57 No. 1 singles, the man rightly known as King George has no peers — unless you leave the country-music corral far behind and start talking about artists like Elvis, the Beatles and Michael Jackson. This year alone, Strait won his first Grammy for Troubador, was named the Academy of Country Music's "Artist of the Decade" for the 2000s, sold out Arlington's new Dallas Cowboys Stadium in less than an hour and released one of the fastest-charting singles of his career with "Living for the Night" from forthcoming album Twang (which features several songs Strait co-wrote with son Bubba). And even after all that, you still get the feeling he'd be just as happy roping cattle and baling hay on his South Texas ranch. Long live the King.

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