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George Strait
George Strait GAB Archive/Redferns20/100

20. George Strait

Since his 1981 debut Strait Country, George Strait has been the picture of consistency, releasing albums and singles without as much as a wobble, let alone a complete misstep. Which is why so many consider him King. Songs like "Fool Hearted Memory," "Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind" and "The Chair" are worthy of the Smithsonian, and Strait's performances – stoic, aside from the tapping foot and occasional grin – embody a certain type of country music, one that is classy, not showy. Yet he's not above biting the Nashville hand that feeds him. His 2000 duet with Alan Jackson, "Murder on Music Row," didn't mince words, while new song "Kicked Outta Country" laments the absence of legends on country radio. The medium has always been kind to Strait, however – even they wouldn't dare not spin his records. The result: 60 Number One singles, more than any other artist in music history. J.H.

Key Tracks: "Amarillo by Morning," "The Chair"