George Strait says being named CMA Entertainer of the Year in 2013 was a very special honor in his long and illustrious career.

The 63-year-old King of Country Music scored the honor late in his career after selling out the first round of his farewell Cowboy Rides Away tour dates in 2013. He also scored his 60th No. 1 hit single that year, and the Country Music Association voters took the opportunity to acknowledge his unique contributions to the genre by giving him the top award of the evening over competition that included Luke Bryan, Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton and Jason Aldean .

"Just to be in the running for it is so special," Strait says in the video above, which is premiering exclusively at Taste of Country. "It's a great feeling of accomplishment to be in that discussion and that group of people that are there, so it's even more special when you win. It's a great surprise to hear your name called, and it means a whole, whole lot."

Strait's not entirely sure why he qualified for the honor again, after winning it previously in 1989 and 1990.

"I don't know what their definition is," he reflects. "But if you've had a great year as far as recording and concerts ... it's a combination of a lot of things, and like I said, I'm not sure exactly what their qualifications are for Entertainer of the Year. But I guess I did it!" he adds with a hearty laugh.

Strait has just released a new album, Cold Beer Conversation, which is available at iTunes. He has announced a limited run of shows exclusively in Las Vegas that will kick off in April of 2016 and stretch through February 2017.

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