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2014 ACM Awards Entertainer of the Year – Why George Strait Should Win

If George Strait wins the Entertainer of the Year Award at the 2014 ACMs in Las Vegas, he’ll set a record for longest break between EOTYs. Strait won his first — and shockingly only — honor in 1989, more than 25 years ago! Brooks and Dunn currently hold the record with five years between wins (1996 to 2001).

A fair argument could be made that if the King wasn’t wrapping up one part of his career in 2014, he wouldn’t be nominated, but you’ll have a hard time finding a fan or music insider offended by his inclusion. If ever there was someone deserving of a legacy award — something equal to the great Cal Ripken Jr.’s final All Star Game selection — it’s George Strait.

Martina McBride, George Strait
Terry Wyatt, Getty Images

With 60 No. 1 hits, the steady legend won’t just lean on his long resume to earn him his second EOY Award on April 6. Musically, his most recent singles from the ‘Love Is Everything’ album have been as artistically satisfying as anything he’s released, even if they haven’t become his 61st and 62nd chart-toppers (‘I Got a Car’ is still climbing). Strait’s 2013 tour was one of the most anticipated events of the year, with 20 sold out venues across America.

Below, you’ll find the highlights of Strait’s Entertainer of the Year campaign. Fans can vote for their favorite at until the third hour of the live CBS Broadcast on April 6.

The Music: Strait released two singles during the eligibility period. ‘I Believe’ received critical acclaim, but met a frosty reception at country radio. His current single ‘I Got a Car’ was released just before the deadline. After a slow start, the song is beginning to catch on. Like many of the King’s best tunes, the impact of his satisfying story takes some time to hit.

The Tour: The first leg of the Cowboy Rides Away Tour was arguably the most coveted concert ticket of 2014. Martina McBride joined Strait for 20 memorable dates across the country, a prequel to his final extended tour, which began early in 2014.

The Intangibles: If fans agree with industry voters who named Strait the CMA’s Entertainer of the Year in 2013, this Country Music Hall of Famer’s legacy will be a factor. Brian Mansfield of USA Today said Strait’s EOTY nod is more of an Entertainer of a Lifetime nomination, and while any deviation from the rules would normally outrage fans of other nominated artists, few are complaining.

Next: 10 Things You Never Knew About George Strait

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