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George Strait to quit touring after 2013-14 dates

George Strait says he'll quit touring after his 2013-2014 round of shows.
(Kevin Diamond / Getty Images for George Strait)

Country kingpin George Strait is riding off into the sunset, at least as far as major touring is concerned. The lanky Texan who’s been cranking out hits since the early ‘80s announced this week that his 2013-14 tour would be his last, although he was quick to note that he’d probably do individual concerts from time to time and that he would continue recording.

His final circuit on the road, which he’s dubbed the Cowboy Rides Away Tour, begins Jan. 18 in Lubbock, Texas. At a Nashville news conference last week, Strait unveiled only the first 21 dates of the tour, which takes him through a June 1 show in San Antonio. The closest it comes to Los Angeles in the initial round of shows will be stops Feb. 1 in Fresno and Feb. 2 in Las Vegas.

“I just don’t want to go to the point where I show up and nobody else does, you know?” Strait told CBS News. “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,” he said. “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.

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“I’m sure I’ll miss it. I’m sure I will,” Strait said. “How can you not after doing it for so long? It was a hard decision to make. It was tough. I’ve lost sleep. But I think about midway through this tour I’ll realize that, yeah, I did make the right decision. It’s just a part of it.”

Strait has charted 59 No. 1 country hits since his recording career began in 1981, more than any other artist.

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