By Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

A new year, a new George Strait tour. The country veteran heads out on his 2008 nationwide arena tour beginning in Austin, TX on Jan. 10. Little Big Town will be the special guest on most shows with the exception of Las Vegas, Sacramento, CA, and Fresno, CA. To date, 19 concerts are scheduled through March 7, with more to be booked. Strait only plays shows on weekends.

During his 2007 arena tour, Strait continued his streak of selling out and setting attendance records. He has scored 55 Number One songs (Billboard’s all-time leader for number one country singles) and 74 Top 10 and 78 Top 20 hits, and has sold more than 62 million records and counting. With 32 different platinum or multi-platinum albums, he’s earned the second most certifications of any artist in any genre, following only Elvis Presley.

Strait continues his reign over country music with his latest single “Wrapped” topping the charts. Not only does this mark his 55th number one, it is also the third single to hit number one from his 34th studio album It Just Comes Natural. The first single, “Give It Away,” went to the top of the country singles chart in just 13 weeks, making it the fastest rising single of Strait’s career. The song also received two Academy of Country Music Awards for “Song of the Year” and “Single Record of the Year.” The album’s title track “It Just Comes Natural” also reached number one. Though Strait already held the record for solo number one singles, his 55th notch ties Conway Twitty’s record, which includes his number one duets with Loretta Lynn.

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George Strait 2008 tour itinerary:

10-Jan Austin, TX Frank Erwin Center
11-Jan Oklahoma City, OK Ford Center
12-Jan Little Rock, AR Alltel Arena
17-Jan Birmingham, AL BJCC
18-Jan Gwinett, GA Gwinnett Arena
19-JanTampa, FL St. Pete Times Forum (Tampa Bay Arena)
24-Jan Jacksonville, FL Veterans Memorial
25-Jan Columbia, SC Colonial Center
26-Jan Baltimore, MD 1st Mariner Arena
31-Jan Sacramento, CA ARCO Arena
1-Feb Fresno, CA Save Mart Center at Fresno State
2-Feb Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand, Garden Arena
15-Feb Charleston, WV Charleston Civic Center
16-Feb Philadelphia, PA Wachovia Center
28-Feb Richmond, VA Richmond Coliseum
29-Feb Lexington, KY Rupp Arena
1-Mar Cleveland, OH Quicken Loans Arena
6-Mar Albuquerque, NM University Arena (The Pit)
7-Mar Lubbock, TX United Spirit Arena