George Strait announces farewell tour - WSMV Channel 4

George Strait announces farewell tour

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The King of Country Music is about to ride off into the sunset.

Country music legend George Strait announced in Nashville on Wednesday a two-year, 40 concert farewell tour that will begin next year.

Thirty-seven years into his country music reign Strait stopped in Music City for a rare royal visit to hold his news conference at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

He'll play 20 dates in 2013, then 20 more in 2014 on "The Cowboy Rides Away" tour. Martina McBride will join Strait on tour in 2013.

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.

Strait said he's not considering it a retirement because he still plans to produce more records after the tour.

"I just don't want to go to the point where I show up and nobody else does, you know?" Strait said in an Associated Press 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."

Strait's live show is one of country music's top draws. He has sold more than 4.3 million headlining concert tickets since 1999, according to Pollstar, an average of more than 18,000 per performance.

"I hope people show up because we're going to a lot of the places we've been to for so long, from year to year, and it's kind of like saying goodbye to that," Strait said. "It's going to be a little emotional."


2013 Tour Dates

Jan. 18 - Lubbock, Texas

Jan. 19 - Oklahoma City, OK

Jan. 25 - Salt Lake City, Utah

Jan. 26 - Nampa, ID

Jan. 31 - Sacramento, CA

Feb. 1 - Fresno, CA

Feb. 2 - Las Vegas, NV

Feb. 15 - St. Paul, MN

Feb. 16 - Grand Forks, N.D.

Feb. 22 - Buffalo, N.Y.

Feb. 23 - Hartford, CT

March 1 - Knoxville, TN - Thompson-Boling Arena

March 2 - Lexington, KY - Rupp Arena

March 17 - Houston, Texas

March 22 - Greenville, S.C.

March 23 - Greensboro, N.C.

April 5 - Albuquerque, N.M.

April 6 - Las Cruces, N.M.

April 12 - North Little Rock, AR

April 13 - New Orleans, LA

June 1 - San Antonio, Texas

Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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