When “The Cowboy” George Strait announced last year that he is planning to retire from touring in 2014, local fans hoped that the legend would ride into the Derby City one last time, but Louisville was not included on the tour’s first leg. Well, fans can breathe a sigh of relief because the second half of “The Cowboy Rides Away” Tour was announced last month and Strait is scheduled to perform at the KFC Yum! Center on March 7. At press time, tickets for this must-see show had not yet gone on sale. Strait’s May 31, 2014 Foxborough, Massachusetts stop is the last show currently scheduled, but the big finale will take place in his home state of Texas in Dallas on a yet-to-be-announced date. The final leg of this tour will feature a variety of opening acts: Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Sheryl Crow, Ronnie Dunn, Vince Gill, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Lee Ann Womack, and Chris Young. The opening act(s) for Louisville has not yet been announced.
Our condolences go out to the family of Slim Whitman upon his passing June 19. The 89-year-old Grand Ole Opry legend best known for his 1952 hit “Indian Love Call,” died from heart failure in Jacksonville, Florida. He was raised in Tampa, Florida and began his music career following a stint in the U.S. Navy. He is also known for hits like “Rose Marie,” “Love Song of the Waterfall,” “Something Beautiful (To Remember),” and “Guess Who.” His last album, Twilight on the Trail, was released just last year.
Although Flatwoods, Kentucky native Billy Ray Cyrus filed for divorce from wife Tish Cyrus in 2010 and he later withdrew the filing and the couple reconciled, his wife decided to pull the plug on their near 20-year marriage last month. She filed the papers in Los Angeles Superior Court on June 13, citing irreconcilable differences. The couple has five children together, including the headline-stealing singer/actress Miley Cyrus. Tish Cyrus is requesting full custody of their only minor child, 13-year-old daughter Noah, spousal support, and asking that Cyrus pay her attorney’s fees.
Our condolences go out to George Strait upon the June 4 passing of his father, 91-year-old John Byron Strait. He passed away after a lengthy illness and a near one-month hospitalization. His famous son released the following statement: “We are grateful for the time over the last few weeks we were able to spend with Daddy before he passed away. I want to thank everyone for their prayers and support during this difficult time as we mourn our family’s loss.” John Strait was a junior high school math teacher and a rancher, and he is survived by wife Anna, daughter Pency Edel and husband Lea, son George Strait and wife Norma, daughter-in-law Denise Strait, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Stephen Barker Liles, who makes up half of “Angel Eyes” duo Love and Theft, became engaged in Ft. Myers, Florida on May 28. He popped the question to girlfriend Jenna Michelle Kennedy as he presented her a 2.34 carat diamond engagement ring. He says, “I am so blessed to have [Jenna] in my life and for us to become one. She is my best friend and I am so grateful for the Lord bringing her into my life.” The couple plan to marry in May 2014.
Our best wishes go out to Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott, who is preparing to give birth to her first child this month. Lady A performed their last concert prior to the birth at the Taste of Country Music Festival late last month. When the band returns to the road following the birth, Scott, her drummer husband Chris Tyrrell, and the new baby will be traveling our country’s highways in their very own “family” tour bus, separate from bandmates Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, as well as the band.
The “King of Country Music,” George Strait, recently made history when he became the first artist in history, among all genres of music, to top the music charts with 60 #1 tunes. Strait’s first #1 was his 1982 release “Fool Hearted Memory,” and his latest single, “Give It All We Got Tonight,” became his 60th chart-topper. Speaking of the honor, Strait states, “I didn’t realize we were making history. I just hoped we were putting out music that my fans would enjoy. As always, I’m thankful to the fans and country radio for their support on all 60 of these number one songs as well as my entire career. They are the ones who made this happen.”
Hot country duo Georgia Florida Line also made country music history recently when their smash hit “Cruise” became the longest-running #1 song for a duo on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The single first topped the charts in December, and thanks to the recent release of the remix with rapper Nelly, it has resided at the #1 spot for 12 weeks. The previous record was held by Carl and Pearl Butler for their 1962 hit “Don’t Let Me Cross Over.”