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George Strait and Blake Shelton reminisce about the nights that changed their lives Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Blake Shelton, right, presents the milestone award to George Strait at the 50th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at AT&T Stadium on Sunday, April 19, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

“King” George Strait has always been a man of few words.

Blake Shelton has not.

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Yet, the two have much in common. Both serve as two of the leading men of country music. They both have handfuls of hit songs, impressive albums and awards. Yet, it was one of their first awards that continue to amaze them both.

“I’ll never forget this night for as long as I live,” George said as he accepted his “Male Vocalist of the Year” CMA Award back in 1985. “Do I look nervous? I’ve got a lot of special people to thank for it. My mind is blank.”

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More than 30 years later, George looked back on this moment as part of the CMA’s recognition of their 50th anniversary. “It’s always a surprise to win,” he says. “I don’t care what you are up for. I don’t even think I’m going to win. It was a surprise back then. That was a pretty special award to win.”

Blake agreed.

“I honestly thought my chance at awards had passed,” he said looking back at footage of his 2010 CMA “Male Vocalist of the Year” win. “This is a big deal. I would have to go back along a ways to thank everyone.”

Tricia Despres is a senior correspondent for Rare Country, based out of Chicago. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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