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"These are cities that we have gone to a lot over the years," he tells GAC. "We just tried to pick the ones that were somewhat special to us and to just go and be able to say thanks. We start out in Lubbock. We're going to go up there and play for a bunch of Red Raiders, that's always fun. We always enjoy playing Lubbock. We're going to end this next year in my hometown of San Antonio at the Alamo Dome so that'll be a great night also."
The 60-year-old, who has toured with his band, Ace in the Hole, for most of his career, reveals his backing members weren't entirely surprised by the announcement. "I think they had it in the back of their minds," he notes. "It's not like it's going to happen tomorrow. Two years is a long time. We've got 40 dates to do in the next two years and they're going to be so much fun. The band and I will have a lot of time to visit in that time about what we're going to do after that."
The country music superstar, who holds the record for the most No. 1 songs, acknowledges deciding to quit the road was not easy. "I've lost a lot of sleep over it, but I feel like I'm not really retiring, the Texan told CMT. "I'm just not going to tour. One point I want to get across to everybody is that I'm still going to make records and I may still do some events. It's not the last time I'm onstage. It's been a part of my life for too long to quit everything. I have done it since the '80s, and I think it's time now to maybe see if I can live without that part."
The Cowboy Rides Away tour, which will include Martina McBride as George's opening act, will kick off on January 18 in Lubbock, Texas. See a list of the dates here.