In yet another positive sign that the appeal for traditional country music is waxing instead of waning, and that “King” George Strait has weathered the effort by some in the country music establishment to be put out to pasture, the financial disclosures from a couple of his recent shows are not only eye popping, they’re record breaking.
We already knew that George Strait’s March 17th performance capping of Houston Rodeo’s 2019 season shattered attendance records with 80,108 tickets sold. Now it enters the history books as one of the highest-grossing concerts in history. Strait grossed $12.7 million from the performance at NRG Stadium, which is the biggest take for a performance since the stadium opened in 2002. The only artists to ever come close to this number were Houston-native Beyonce and husband Jay-Z who grossed $11.1 million over two separate days in September of 2018.
On top of that, George Strait’s show at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium two weeks later on March 30th grossed an additional $12 million. These two recent concerts give Strait his 20th #1 show on Billboard’s Boxscore chart, and his 2nd and 3rd $10 million+ grossing concerts of his career. The only other Strait show to beat these two recent concerts was the cap off to his farewell tour on June 7, 2014 at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas where he grossed an incredible $18.2 million in front of 104,793 people.
Strait officially retired from touring full time in 2014, which has undoubtedly created extra interest in the few shows he still plays each year. But just with two shows, he was able to come in at #2 on Billboard’s Hot Tours chart for March, going up against artists playing a dozen shows or more. Pink was #1 on the list with 14 shows played in the month.
And George Strait’s hot streak isn’t just resigned to stadium shows. His recent album Honky Tonk Time Machine debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart with the best-selling album sales week in country music so far in 2019, and also put him at #4 on the all-genre Billboard 200. It also extended Strait’s already historic marker for the most #1 albums in country music history. Now with 27 #1 albums under his belt, that puts Strait 10 albums ahead of the nearest competition. Both Garth Brooks and Willie Nelson have 17 #1 albums to their name.
Strait is also seeing success at radio, with his current single “Every Little Honky Tonk Bar” holding steady on the charts at #18.