George Strait's career in country music spans more than 40 years. However, the singer himself really didn't take an interest in country music until he was in high school.

Born May 18, 1952, the now-icon entered the world in Poteet, Texas, as son to Doris and John Strait. He was a big fan of news radio and the farmer's report as a teen — his family owned a huge ranch and he helped out, so he always wanted to stay in the know.

Strait's career in music started while he was a student at Pearsall High School, where he performed in a rock 'n roll garage band known as the Stoics. When he left for college, he kept on that path, joining up with the country band Stoney Ridge after answering a flyer the band posted on campus seeking a new vocalist.

As the new frontman, Strait renamed the group the Ace in the Hole Band and quickly became the leader. The group played different honky-tonks and bars around south and central Texas.

In 1981, MCA Records came calling, and Strait signed with them and released his first-ever single, "Unwound." It was a major commercial success, becoming a Top 10 song in country music at the time.

As Strait's star shined brighter, he decided to try acting: The singer scored a part in the 1982 film The Soldier. Since then, he has appeared in a few other movies — Pure Country, most notably — and even voiced a character on the animated series King of the Hill.

There was no stopping this country heartthrob, and by the 1990s, he was a household name and had earned his still-standing title of King of Country Music.

Strait has amassed more than 60 No. 1 songs in his career and has sold millions of records, worldwide.

40 Photos of George Strait Young

George Strait is the undisputed King of Country. With a career spanning over 40 years, he has charted more than 60 No. 1 country songs and has more No. 1 hits than any other artist in a single genre.

Gallery Credit: Evan Paul

PICTURES: See Inside Alan Jackson's Spectacular Hilltop Estate

After selling their spectacular Southern manor home in 2010, Alan Jackson and his wife moved to to what might be an even more impressive mansion, if that's even possible. Their 5-bedroom, 8-bathroom, 22,012-square-foot estate in the same Nashville suburb of Franklin features bedrooms that are all well-appointed suites, while the formal dining and living areas are finished off with splendid arched doorways, oversized windows and elaborate woodwork. The residence also includes a bar, a media room and multiple indoor and outdoor fireplaces. It sold for $19 million in March of 2021.

Gallery Credit: Sterling Whitaker

The 40 Most-Played Country Songs of the Last 50 Years

Country music has come a long way in the last 50 years. Its popularity has continued to trend upward in the mainstream, and it doesn't look like it will be stopping anytime soon — it's more listened-to than ever! Check out a list of the Top 40 most-played country songs of the last 50 years, and see if your favorite artist has a hit here.

Gallery Credit: Evan Paul

More From Taste of Country