The couple were longtime supporters of the event.

By Meghan Overdeep
March 18, 2019

Beloved country crooner George Strait set a new attendance record for Rodeo Houston on Sunday. A staggering 80,108 people saw the music icon sing at NRG Stadium in Houston. And the night before, when Brad Paisley brought the house down, two seats remained empty for two very special fans.

A pair of engraved seats were reserved for former president George H.W. and Barbara Bush. A posy of flowers was left for Barbara, who passed away at the age of 92 last April—seven months before the death of George, her husband of 73 years. The couple were longtime supporters of Rodeo Houston, an annual livestock exhibition that has become the largest in the world.

"They had a very special relationship with some of the entertainers, Reba McEntire and Brad Paisley in particular,” Rodeo Houston President Joel Cowley told KTRK.  “And when Reba or Brad would play, they'd usually come in advance of the show and sit down and visit with them. And then they would enjoy seats right beside the bucking chute.”