Pictured (l-r): Charlie Morgan, George Strait, CRS President Mike Culotta
The ballroom at the Nashville Convention Center was packed with radio personalities and music industry VIPs, all there to honor a man who has sold nearly 69 million records during his three decades-long music career.
George seemed overwhelmed with appreciation for his award. "This is so special because it comes from country radio," he said. "One of the great things about being in country music is getting to be with people like you who are in this room tonight."
The King of Country went on to say he remembered going around the country in the 1980s, when he started out with singles "Unwound" and "Down and Out," and meeting radio personnel with whom he remains friends today.
After congratulating the men and women being inducted into the Hall of Fame, George added, "I'm so honored, and I appreciate this so much."
Although many of his peers were not able to be there with him, several sent video messages, congratulating him on his latest in a long line of accomplishments. Dierks Bentley, Ronnie Dunn, Alan Jackson, Jamey Johnson (who wrote George's "Give It Away"), Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift and Lee Ann Womack were there in spirit as they showered him with praise and congratulatory comments. Martina McBride summed up everyone's feelings when she said, "Everyone wants to be George Strait when they grow up."
Other entertainers who have received the CRB Achievement honor include Brooks and Dunn, Kenny Rogers, Charlie Daniels, Dolly Parton and Reba.
George is the only artist in country music to have 85 out of 90 radio singles reach the Top 10 on the country singles charts. Twenty-four of his albums went to No. 1 on Billboard's country albums chart. The Texas troubadour was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006.
Six radio personalities were inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame. Among those were Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase of "Crook & Chase," who host a radio countdown show in addition to their TV show. Dr. Don Carpenter, Gaylon Christie, Eddie Edwards and Bill Poindexter were also inducted.