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George Strait Admits Decision to Retire From Touring ‘Hasn’t Been Easy’

George Strait
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

It’s been a trying week for country music fans since George Strait announced the Cowboy Rides Away Tour will be his last, but the singer has gone on the record to disprove any notion that he may be retiring from country music completely once he finishes up his road obligations in 2014. He says the choice to retire from the road wasn’t easy.

“I’ve done it since 1981 and that is a long time,” Strait tells Country Weekly. “I have lost a lot of sleep over this decision.”

“I’m saying that this part of my career is coming to an end,” he adds. ”I am still gonna make records. But as far as the old grind of going out on tour, that’s done after these last two.”

The country legend admits that his the passion for performing is alive and well, but it’s the logistics of planning an elaborate stage show that has become problematic for the veteran stage performer, who has been touring extensively for more than 30 years.

“It’s just the getting from point A to point B and all that.”

Strait made the announcement last week (Sept. 26) during a press conference at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. “It’s been a hard decision for me to make, but as far as the touring goes, I’ve decided that I’m not going to tour anymore after these next two years,” he told the room filled with industry colleagues and media members.

“I kinda always had it in the back of my mind, when I turned 60 it might be the time to start thinking about it,” confesses the singer, who hit the milestone in May of this year. “I didn’t want to show up sometime for a tour and nobody came.”

Strait did offer a morsel of hope to fans clinging to the idea of seeing the singer in concert after he wraps his pending concert dates. “In 2016 I might say, ‘What a dummy,’ you know?’” he joked. “And if that’s the case, maybe I’ll reconsider, but at this particular time, I’m pretty sure I won’t.”

The first round of dates for the 2013 Cowboy Rides Away Tour will go on sale Oct. 12. Friend and fellow country music superstar Martina McBride is scheduled to open 20 of the 21 shows.

Next: See 10 Things You Didn't Know About George Strait

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