George Strait is not retiring after he announced his “The Cowboy Rides Away Tour,” raising eyebrows among fans. The country music legend plans to go on the road for two years, ending the latest tour in 2014. He also says that just because he turned 60 this year, doesn’t mean he’s done.
“Don’t think I’m retiring, because I’m not,” Strait said at a press conference Wednesday at the Country Music and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. “If a special event happens to come up somewhere I want to do, by all means, I’m going to do it,” he said. “I hope I still have a lot of those left in me.”
The country star has 59 number one hits — at least one a year for 30 years – and 65 million albums sales, according to the news release announcing his final tour.
Strait broke into stardom with his 1981 album “Strait Country” and has cranked out an album almost every year since. He has 13 multi-platinum, 33 platinum and 38 gold records, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Only The Beatles and Elvis have sold more albums than Strait in the United States.
In recorded music, Strait, with his smooth Texas accent and traditional county style, has even outsold The Rolling Stones stateside, who RIAA lists with 11 multi-platinum, 28 platinum and 42 gold albums.
He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006, a rarity for a still actively recording artist.
The music icon was no stranger to 1960′s musical phenomenon known as the British Invasion, which brought The Beatles and The Stones to America, according to Strait’s hall of fame biography.
Growing up in a small town south of San Antonio, Texas, it was the music he listened to.