More on Country Music Backup Singer, Marty Slayton

The Biography of George Strait's Backup Singer

Marty Slayton
Marty Slayton. John Russell/WireImage/Getty Images

Marty Slayton has forged a career as one of country music's busiest backup singers. She's sung with the likes of Reba McEntire, Lee Ann Womack, Lorrie Morgan and Alan Jackson throughout the course of her 20-plus-year career, but she's best known for singing backup in George Strait's Ace in the Hole Band.

The Early Years 

Slayton grew up in Alamo, Tennessee. Like many country music hopefuls, she set her sights on Nashville to try her hand at landing a recording contract. She wanted a career in which she'd be the one with backup singers, not the other way around.

But backup work was abundant. She spent years singing background vocals for country artists, including a two-year stint with country queen Reba McEntire with whom she performed about 180 shows. Clayton figured it was time to buckle down after that gig wrapped. She was 32 at the time and she considered quitting music for good. She even had a full-time pharmaceutical sales job lined up — benefits, company car and all — when George Strait called.

Strait guaranteed Slayton eight weeks of work. It ended up turning into a 15-year tenure singing with Ace in the Hole Band. Slayton traveled the world, performing in front of crowds bigger than her hometown besides a man who many consider being the king of country music.

Solo Ventures

Backup singers often don't get the credit they deserve. They're onstage, contributing besides some of the most acclaimed musicians out there, but they're unknown when the curtain closes. Slayton has tried her hand at a solo career. She released the album Plan B in 2004and she even had a brief stint on the TV show "Nashville Star," an "American Idol"-style competition series in which contestants were limited to country music.

Slayton's Return

Now that Slayton's touring career has slowed significantly, perhaps she will do more work in the studio. She's no stranger there, having sung on all of Strait's more recent albums as well as in recordings for Dolly Parton, George Jones, and Alan Jackson. Slayton is also a songwriter, so maybe she'll pen a few hits. She's also expressed interest in writing a book about her experiences in the music industry.

Strait's farewell tour, "Cowboy Rides Away," concluded with a record-setting performance in Arlington, Texas, in the summer of 2014. It was unclear at that time whether he'd perform or tour again, but he released the album  Cold Beer Conversation in September 2015, and, not surprisingly, announced that he would be back on stage for "Strait to Vegas," a series of concerts held throughout 2016 in Las Vegas. If Strait isn't done yet, maybe Slayton isn't either.

She's tweeted on Twitter, saying that she feels "blessed and grateful." You can keep up with her on Twitter and Facebook to find out what's around her next corner.