George Strait has announced his final tour will kick off next year but that he will continue to make records for as long as he is able.
Strait, also known as the “King of Country,” made the announcement at a news conference at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame on Wednesday, according to The Chicago Tribune. The country singer stated:
“I’ve decided I’m not going to tour anymore after these next two years. Don’t think I’m retiring because I’m not. I’m still going to make records as long as the label will let me. I’m going to write.”
Strait added that he may do one-off performances and special events in the future but that “as far as a structured tour goes, after the last date in 2014 that will be it for the touring.”
The 60-year-old country legend’s “Cowboy Rides Away” tour will start on January 18 in Lubbock, Texas. The first leg of the tour will end in George Strait’s hometown of San Antonio, Texas on June 14. Dates for 2014 have not yet been announced. Fellow country singer Martina McBride will join the King of Country on the 2013 leg of his final tour.
USA Today notes that George Strait told the press, “We’re going to have a lot of fun” on the tour. While making his announcement on Wednesday, Strait added:
“I just don’t want to go to the point where I show up and nobody else does, you know? 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 said that he’s sure he’ll miss touring after he’s done, and that it was a tough decision, but he added, “I think about midway through this tour I’ll realize that, yeah, I did make the right decision.” As for after the tour? George Strait said that he plans to “[g]olf, fish and, you know, I have a new grandson.”