George Strait almost let his longtime love Norma get away.
“We knew each other forever, growing up in a small town,” George told 100.3 The Bull, a Houston-area radio station. “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. Then one day, I thought, ‘I’m missing the boat here,’ and we started dating again.”
The couple made things official on December 4, 1971 when they eloped in Mexico. Upon returning to the states, they also hosted a small wedding at a church in Pearsall, Texas to celebrate with friends and family.
Around the same time, Strait enlisted in the U.S. Army and was shipped off to Hawaii where he served from 1971 to 1975. It was then that he began performing with an Army-sponsored band called Rambling Country.
When he returned to his native Texas, he assembled a band to accompany him and began to perform as a solo artist. He earned his first chart-topping single with “Fool Hearted Memory.” In total, Strait has notched an unprecedented 60 No.1 singles to date.
Norma stuck by his side through it all – the good times and the bad.
In 1972, the couple welcomed their first child, Jenifer. Their son, George “Bubba” Strait Jr., joined the family nine years later. Tragedy stuck in June of 1986 when a car accident took Jenifer’s life. She was just 13 years old.
Due to the heart-wrenching pain, Strait doesn’t talk too much about his daughter or the accident. However, he will never forget her of the memories she left behind. “We were blessed to have been able to spend 13 years with our beautiful daughter Jenifer,” he once told People.
Their nearly 50-year marriage is something Strait does not take for granted.
“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,” he said. “We do almost everything together … We love each other and we still like each other. A lot!”