Remember When George Strait Kicked Off His Final Tour?
George Strait set off on the final tour of his career on Jan. 18, 2013, but those dates didn't turn out to be the final live shows of his career.
The country icon stunned his fans and the country music industry when he announced his The Cowboy Rides Away Tour in 2012. He planned the tour to run for two years so that he could perform one last time in all of the cities that had been most important to his career over the years, kicking off Jan. 18, 2013, with a show in Lubbock, Texas.
Then 60, Strait said he'd been considering packing it in when he reached that milestone age for several years. He took Martina McBride along on the road for the first leg of the tour, which saw him performing two full hours of hits from across decades. Strait has scored a total of 60 No. 1 hits over the years, more than any other country singer in history.
Strait continued the tour in 2014, and he played what he billed as the final tour date of his career on June 7, 2014, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, joined by an impressive roster of guest artists that included McBride, Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Ronnie Dunn, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert and Lee Ann Womack. He captured that show for posterity in his The Cowboy Rides Away: Live From AT&T Stadium CD and DVD.
But it turned out that Strait wasn't done with the stage just yet. He had said he and his Ace in the Hole Band would continue to perform select dates when and where it made sense, and he made good on that promise by announcing a series of shows in Las Vegas in 2016 titled Strait to Vegas. Those shows were so successful that he performed more Vegas show each year through 2022. He's also given a few scattered performances elsewhere, including a 2019 show at RodeoHouston, and another in 2022, as well as a series of stadium shows in 2023.
Strait has also announced big plans for 2024. He'll play a string of stadium dates beginning in May, with dates in June, July and December. Chris Stapleton and Little Big Town will share the stage with Strait on those shows.
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Gallery Credit: Sterling Whitaker