The King of Country Music has a queen, and she’s been around since long before he was bestowed that title. George Strait and his wife Norma are high school sweethearts, married since the early ’70s.
To country radio station the Bull 100.3, Strait calls Norma “the first girl I ever loved.” The two went to high school together in Pearsall, Texas, and “knew each other forever,” the country star says.
“I never really even thought anything about her, but then one day, I asked her out, and we went on a date. We didn’t see each other for a long time after that,” Strait shares. “Then one day, I thought, ‘I’m missing the boat here,’ and we started dating again.”
The Straits eloped in Mexico on Dec. 4, 1971, and then, a few weeks later, held a church wedding in their hometown. Strait joined the United States Army shortly thereafter, with Norma following him to his post in Hawaii. It was there that he began singing with a military-sponsored country music group, though it would take another decade before his first official country single arrived.
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“Norma and I are so blessed that we found each other … and were able to do all of this together, experience this life together, to support each other through everything, good times and bad,” Strait tells People. “We do almost everything together … We love each other and we still like each other. A lot!”
George and Norma Strait have two children together: daughter Jenifer, born in 1972, and son George Jr., nicknamed “Bubba,” born in 1981. Sadly, Jenifer died in a car accident at the age of 13, on June 25, 1986.
Nearly 50 years into their marriage, the Straits are now grandparents to Bubba and wife Tamara’s two children: George Harvey Strait III, born in 2012, and Jillian Louise Strait, born in 2016. With “King George” retired from touring (though he’s still making new music, often writing with his son, and playing occasional shows), he and his queen have plenty of time to spoil their beloved prince and princess.