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George Jones announces farewell tour for 2013

Country singer George Jones says he'll quit touring after a string of farewell performances next year.
(Kathi Kent / For The Times)

Country singer George Jones says he’s calling it quits as far as touring goes after a 2013 string of farewell performances he’s dubbed “The Grand Tour.”

“It is tough to stop doing what I love,” the 80-year-old singer said in a statement issued Tuesday, “but the time has come.”

The farewell run of shows is slated to visit about 60 cities. The itinerary hasn’t been finalized. He has been touring for close to 60 years since first appearing on the national sales charts with his hit “Why Baby Why” in 1955.

He also is planning to record a new studio album, and Dolly Parton is writing songs for the project, which has no scheduled release date.

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Jones has charted nearly 170 singles and is widely regarded as one of the greatest vocalists in country music history. He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and a two-time Grammy Award winner.

Health issues have prompted him to postpone or cancel several concert appearances in recent years, and he said he now wishes to devote more time to his wife, children and grandchildren.

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