George Strait with his award at the Academy of Country Music Awards on April 6, 2014. The singer released new single 'Cold Beer Conversation' on Wednesday. File photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
LAS VEGAS, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- George Strait debuted new single "Cold Beer Conversation" from his forthcoming album of the same name Wednesday.
The 63-year-old country star had announced the record and several Las Vegas performances during a press conference Tuesday. Straight will release Cold Beer Conversation on Sept. 25, and kick off his Strait to Vegas shows at the Las Vegas Arena in April 2016.
"It's fun to play Vegas," he told reporters. "The crowds are great and they come from all over the place, because there is so much to do here. A concert is a kind of bonus. I didn't want to do another structured tour, so I can come in here and do a couple dates ... and then come back and do a couple more."
Strait last released Love is Everything in May 2013, and brought his accompanying final concert tour, The Cowboy Rides Away, to a close in June 2014. The singer will perform Apr. 22 and Apr. 23, 2016, and return to play Sept. 9 and Sept. 10. Kacey Musgraves will open all four shows.
"I'm not trying to do anything that I'm not comfortable with," he said of his new record to Rolling Stone. "I am who I am and I do this kind of music, and I've tried to make good records my whole career. I've tried to make each better than the last, and that's the way you have to look at it."
"The thing I never really thought about that much [before retirement], was just how much music is a part of me and has been a part of my life for so long," he told the magazine. "it's who I am. It's what I do, and when I got away from it I thought, 'Well, this is weird.'"
Strait landed his first recording contract in 1981, and released his debut studio album, Strait Country, the same year. He has since sold more than 100 million records worldwide, and is considered the "King of Country" by many due to his prolific career.