George Strait is ready to kick off the first leg of his 2013 the Cowboy Rides Away Tour this week. The final tour will commence on Friday (Jan. 18) at the United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas.

The King of Country promises that his last-ever outing -- which will run through 2014 -- will be a farewell, of sorts. Strait is retiring from the road after spending the better part of the last three decades as a traveling musician.

“I've got over 30 years of great memories out on that road," Straight says of his retirement from the road (quote via EB Media). I'm sure these last two are going to be just as good or better. It's going to be fun but at the same time sad. I can't wait!”

Tickets for the tour went on sale last October, with a handful of dates selling out within hours. The 'Give It All We Got' singer personally selected the cites that would be visited on the 40-date run.

“These are cities that we have gone to a lot over the years,” Strait says of his pending tour schedule. “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.”

Strait's friend and fellow country superstar, Martina McBride, was also personally chosen by the iconic singer to provide opening entertainment for his farewell shows.

The iconic singer will visit 21 cities for his round of tour dates, wrapping up on June 1. He is planning 20 additional dates in 2014 before drawing the curtain on his touring career -- though he hasn't ruled out the possibility of playing special events with his house band.