October 30, 2008
Earlier today, the Academy of Country Music announced that George Strait would be its Artist of the Decade. Only four other acts have been honored as artist of the decade: Marty Robbins in 1969, Loretta Lynn in 1979, Alabama in 1988 and Garth Brooks in 1998. The annual ACM Awards show is scheduled for Sunday, April 5, with Reba McEntire hosting for the 11th time.
Long live King George, of course, whose popularity has now encompassed three decades. His consistent chart success and critically-acclaimed work satisfies Strait’s more mature fans while also capturing the attention of the genre’s newer audience. I have a hard time arguing with the choice of Strait, although I would lean towards Alan Jackson instead. The highlights in Jackson’s decade include a number of contemporary classics (“Where Were You,” “Drive,” “Remember When,” “Monday Morning Church,” “Small Town Southern Man”), a trophy cabinet full of awards (nine CMA awards, seven ACM awards and a Grammy), a popular touring schedule and even detours into gospel (Precious Memories and sophisticated country-pop (Like Red on a Rose). Meanwhile, he stands as the ambassador for what many feel that country music is and should be.
Who is your artist of the decade and why?