George Strait Thought The Pandemic Might End His Career: “I Wasn’t Getting Any Younger… It Was Scary”

George Strait country music

It still never ceases to amaze me how George Strait is still as popular today, as he was 30-plus years ago.

I guess when you have 60 number one hits, you’re still selling out arenas, and your name and you’re hailed as the King of country music, that kind of reputation lasts for the rest of your life.

Nevertheless, it’s hard for a normal person to fathom the success one artist can have, and the kind of mark they leave over an extensive career.

The King recently sat down for an interview with Pollstar before he played the grand opening of the Moody Center in Austin, and made some intriguing points about the success he’s garnered over the years, playing RodeoHouston, coming back from COVID lockdowns, and more.

He weighed in on just how important playing RodeoHouston is to him, and how awesome it is to still sellout the near 80,000 capacity NRG Stadium:

“The Houston Rodeo has always been a special place for me. Everyone knows the story of how I got started playing there so I won’t repeat all that (filling in at the last second for an ailing Eddie Rabbit in 1983), but we’ve had a special relationship ever since.

I don’t ride the horse around anymore because we have the stage set up in the round there and there’s no room for that. I do miss that though.”

Perhaps the most intriguing part of the interview, was when COVID first struck and he was off the road, and the thought crossed his mind that he may never play live again:

“When live music shut down due to COVID, I wasn’t sure if I would ever be able to play live again. It made me really sit back and realize how fortunate I had been all of these years to be able to do that. I mean, time was passing and I wasn’t getting any younger. It was scary.

I wasn’t ready to quit. I think after we were able to come back it gave me a different appreciation for being able to perform for people.

I really, really love doing it and I’m so appreciative that my fans still love to come hear us. Like my song says, ‘I don’t know how many more years I’ve got left to do this, but I figure a few,’ it’s true.

There’s nothing like it and I can’t describe it. Not many people get to do it at this level and I feel very lucky and blessed to be one of those few.”

And if you think King George is calling it quits, guess again… he says he’s ready to cut another album after this run of shows:

“I would say that I’m working at just the right pace for me. I think I’ll do eight shows next year. That’s about perfect. I’ll have plenty of time off and still be able to scratch that itch that I have for live shows.

I also want to make another record soon. I just re-signed with MCA records and I’m really excited about that and the fact that they still want me around. They’re the only record company I’ve ever been with, and I guess the only one I’ll ever have.

They can bury me under the building when that time comes.”

Long live the King.

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