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George Strait thanks ‘best fans in the world’ for ACM Entertainer award

George Strait "rides away" with top honor from ACMs
George Strait "rides away" with top honor from ACMs
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

“The King of Country Music”, George Strait, accepted his crown at the 49th annual ACM Awards on Sunday, April 6. The country legend was honored with the ACM Entertainer of the Year Award, to the cheers and applause of all his country music peers.

After celebrating a top ten hit in every year of his 30-year career, George Strait collected the reward for all his labor as LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell presented his award.

As the names of the nominees for Entertainer of the Year were read off, there seemed to be a tension in the air that could only be relieved with the announcement of George Strait’s name. Though Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Taylor Swift were all deserving of the nomination, none could contend with the man who is and always will be, a legend in country music.

When George Strait was announced as the winner, the room seemed to breathe a collective sigh of relief and instantly break forth in celebration. Miranda Lambert instantly threw her arms up in excited approval, Taylor Swift was seen applauding with a heartfelt gleam in her eye, and everywhere the camera roamed, country’s finest were standing and cheering for George Strait.

George Strait collected a hug and kiss from his wife Norma, received a pat on the back from Tim McGraw, and approached the stage with a mix of disbelief and joy.

He only managed to say one word–“wow”–before the room erupted in loud cheers once again.

When the excitement calmed, George Strait delivered a sweet acceptance speech honoring his fans and the only record label he’s ever worked with:

Thank you so much . You know I’ve always said I had the best fans in the world and I heard this was a fan voted thing, so I rest my case. I tell you what, this is so amazing. This has been such an amazing past 30 years. I want to thank MCA Records, the only label I’ve ever been on. What a great crew. Thank you for your support all these years.

George Strait continued, thanking his wife Norma and family and finished with, “Thank God for all this stuff he’s blessed me with. Thank the Academy of Country Music. I love all of you. Thank you so much.

As applause resounded again it seemed everyone thought it fitting that the cowboy ride away with the Entertainer of the Year award in the year of his retirement from touring. George Strait is currently finishing up his Cowboy Rides Away Tour featuring special guest, Martina McBride.

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