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George Strait Final Tour Announced

George Strait
Rick Diamond,Getty Images

The enduring country music superstar announced Wednesday during a news conference at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum that he will embark on his final tour early next year. He will play 21 dates in 2013, then 20 more in 2014 on The Cowboy Rides Away tour.

He plans to continue recording music and making occasional live appearances after that, but his road warrior days will soon be over. And I admire the fact that while many legendary artists refuse to retire from the road, George Stait has decided to do it on his own terms.

“I just don’t want to go to the point where I show up and nobody else does, you know?” Strait said in an interview before making the announcement. “It’s been great. I’ve been doing it for 30-some odd years and I’ve loved it. Sometimes I’ve not liked it as much. And here lately it’s just the walking out onstage part, that’s all great. I’m still loving that. It’s just the hectic part about touring and traveling and bam bam bam bam. I just feel like it’s time for me to try something else.”

The 60-year-old Country Music Hall of Fame member from Texas released his first single “Unwound” in 1981, before some of today’s top stars were born. Since then he’s had 59 No. 1 country singles and is the only artist to score a Top 10 hit in every year of his career. All his albums have gone platinum or gold, selling more than 68 million copies.

George says he knows he’ll miss that feeling, and he reserves the right to return to the road if he wants. But Wednesday he was feeling comfortable with everything.

I guess if you’ve never seen George Strait in a live performance, your time is now limited. For a chance to see him check his schedule. The first leg of the tour will kick off Jan. 18 in Lubbock, Texas, and end June 1 in San Antonio. Dates for 2014 will be announced later. Martina McBride will join Strait on tour in 2013.

And ‘The Cowboy Rides Away’!

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