George Strait to Receive Billboard’s Legend of Live Award
George Strait has racked up more awards and No. 1 hits than any other country artist in history, and now he is about to receive another honor. The King of Country will be the recipient of the Legend of Live Award at the Billboard Touring Awards in November, making him the first country artist to receive the prestigious honor.
“There's nothing more rewarding than performing in front of a sold out, pumped-up, loud crowd," Strait says. "That's what keeps us coming back. I love it.”
The award is well-deserved, according to Billboard editorial director Bill Werde. "George Strait's fans span generations, and he is committed to making his live shows the best possible experience for fans and, as such, is uniquely deserving of this award," Werde says. "From his days in the Texas honky-tonks, through the creation of country music touring festivals in stadiums, and his top-shelf, professional touring strategies and production, George Strait's talent and style transcends musical trends."
Strait, who just celebrated his 60th No. 1 hit with 'Give It All We Got Tonight,' graces the cover of this week's edition of Billboard magazine.The tribute issue includes more than 60 pages of coverage of the Country Music Hall of Fame member, including a rare interview with the 61-year-old. It also features remarks from people who have worked with him, including his manager, producer, promoter, a songwriter, and people from his label, MCA Nashville, as well as several of country music's biggest stars.
Also included in the issue is a recap of some of his biggest successes, including his achievements both on the Hot Country Songs chart, and the Billboard Boxscore touring chart.
The always-humble singer says he is honored by his latest accolade. "I never would have thought I would get an award for touring after 30 some odd years," he tells Billboard. "I'm honored that I would be considered for it. [My wife] Norma and I were having dinner with some friends the other day and we were talking about all of that. It struck me as kind of funny when I said I'd been touring since 1981 and they thought that was so long. I never really looked at it that way. Even today, it doesn't seem like that long ago that I started. It's just been my life for so long. In reality, though, it still comes down to three decades. They were right, but to me it just doesn't seem like that long."
2013 will be a big year for the Texan. In addition to receiving the Legend of Live honor, he will also be the recipient of the ASCAP Founders Award in November, honoring his pioneering contributions to the music industry for more than 30 years.
Strait will kick off the final leg of his farewell The Cowboy Rides Away tour in 2014. Dates for what he says will be his last tour will be announced this fall. Keep track of all of his updates here.