George Strait Tops Billboard's List of Top 25 Country Artists of the Past 25 Years

Born in the U.S.A.: Top 50 Stars of the 50 States
Vanessa Gavalya/Universal Music Nashville

Texas: Even if all his exes reportedly live there, George Strait can't hide from the fact that he's sent more songs to No. 1 on Country Songs (44) than any act on any Billboard chart. With top 10s annually on Country Songs since 1981, Strait, born in Poteet, is the only artist to score a top 10 on the same survey for as many as 32 "Strait" years.

George Strait is No. 1 on Billboard's list of the top 25 country music artists of the past 25 years.

Strait tops a list that includes Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Alan Jackson and Tim McGraw in its top 5. The list, which Billboard compiled to celebrate the genre's big week with Billboard's Country Summit and the CMT Music Awards, combed the Billboard Hot Country Songs and Top Country Albums charts to rank the top 25 country artists of the last 25 years (1985-2010).


Country Music Hall of Famer Strait, who holds several all-time Billboard records, tops the list. His 44 No. 1's on Hot Country Songs is the most by any artist in the chart's 64 year history. Strait took the lead on that chart when "Give It Away" became his 41st leader in September 2006, pushing previous record holder Conway Twitty to No. 2. With 82 top 10 singles, he is second only to Eddy Arnold's 92 top 10 achievements. He is the only artist in Billboard's history to achieve top 10 singles in 30 consecutive years (1981-2010).

The Top County Artists 1985-2010 ranking is based on actual performance on the weekly Hot Country Songs and Top Country Albums charts from January 5, 1985 to the Billboard issue dated May 29, 2010. Artists are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at the lower end of the chart earning the least.