George Strait proves once again why he’ll always be No. 1 in our hearts Al Powers/Powers Imagery/Invision/AP
George Strait poses for a portrait following his press conference at the MGM Grand Resort and Casino on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, in Las Vegas, Nev. Strait announced on Tuesday that he’s releasing a new album, “Cold Beer Conversation,” on Friday and that he’ll play a series of shows at the new Las Vegas Arena when it opens in 2016. (Photo by Al Powers/Powers Imagery/Invision/AP)

They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas but that’s not entirely true as video from Miranda’s 2014 moment with the King at the MGM Grand is proof. Miranda joined George onstage during his The Cowboy Rides Away Tour to perform “How ‘Bout Them Cowgirls” and the Strait classic “Run” and as you can see, it was awesome. It’s video like this that not only makes us thankful to be country fans, but it also gives us some hope for the future as we know George still has at least six more live shows in his “Strait To Vegas” run at the Las Vegas Arena.

You don’t get to be this good overnight and George has been doing it for 35 years and counting. We call him King George for a reason. From the time he stepped onstage in 1981 to the day he stepped off it in 2014, George Strait has been the high water mark for country music.

He’s also been on the charts at least once in every one of those 35 years, and “Billboard” has noticed. Now the rest of the world will, too.

RELATED: George Strait has Forrest Gump to thank for this No. 1 song of his

For the first time in history, “Billboard Magazine” has gone through all 60 years of their country music charts and compiled an All Time Country chart.

It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that George Strait truly is King George as the No. 1 country artist of all time. In fact, the Top 10 country artists of all time shake out pretty fantastically with a batting order of Strait, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Alabama, Conway Twitty, Charlie Pride, Reba, Garth, Alan Jackson and Tim McGraw rounding things out. Sorry Waylon, it looks like you just needed one more hit.

As great as the Top Country Artists shake out, some other ones will leave you scratching your head. They say that charts don’t lie but in reality, sometimes they do. They definitively mark who or what songs are popular, but that doesn’t always translate into greatness, because greatness and popularity are two different things. Lest we remind you, Vanilla Ice once ruled the charts and while popular, even he will admit great is a stretch.

That said, in 60 years of country charts, Florida Georgia Line takes the top honors as No. 1 Hot Country Song with “Cruise.” To be fair, Leroy Van Dyke’s 1961 single “Walk On By” was the runner-up. Even more bizarre, Hunter Hayes is No. 3 with “Wanted” and Sam Hunt is fourth with “Take Your Time.” Not exactly indicative of country music history, eh?


RELATED: We can’t help but get misty-eyed every time we hear George Strait sing this song

Take a guess as to who comes out on top as the No. 1 Country Album of all time. Garth? Alabama? Surely it’s Garth, right? Wrong! Shania Twain holds that title as her album “Come On Over” held the top spot for an incredible 50 weeks. That’s two weeks short of a calendar year!


It’s actually fun and somewhat surprising to see where the stars fall on these all-time charts. It’s probably the one and only time you’ll see C.W. McCall’s “Convoy” sitting next to Keith Urban’s “Somebody Like You.”

You can view them all yourself by clicking the links here for All Time Country Artists, All Time Country Songs and All Time Country Albums.

Based in Chicago but often in Nashville, Ken Churilla is a contributor for Rare Country. Follow him @KenChurilla and join the conversation @RareCountry.
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