Country kingpin George Strait will kick off his 2005 tour Jan. 3 in Charlotte, N.C., with Dierks Bentley and Amber Dotson in tow.

Country kingpin George Strait will kick off his 2005 tour Jan. 3 in Charlotte, N.C., with Dierks Bentley and Amber Dotson in tow. The 19-date outing runs through March 5 in Denver, with the first four shows going on sale Saturday (Dec. 4) via Ticketmaster and venue box offices.

Strait has been one of the most consistently bankable touring acts in country music for the past 20 years. He returned to arena shows in the round a few years ago after staging hugely successful stadium tours with the George Strait Country Music fest.

The Texas-based artist grossed $25.3 million this year from only 28 shows reported to Billboard Boxscore, 26th among all touring artists for the year.

Strait will be out in support of his two-disc compilation "50 Number Ones" (MCA Nashville), which opened at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 and the Top Country Albums chart. Released in October, the set has sold 1.1 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Its sole new track, "I Hate Everything," recently reached No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.

Bentley has been a road warrior since the release of his self-titled Capitol album, playing more than 200 shows this year, including an opening slot on all of Strait's dates, as well as tours with Kenny Chesney and Cross Canadian Ragweed. Released in September 2003, "Dierks Bentley" bowed at No. 4 on the Top Country Albums tally and spawned the singles "What Was I Thinkin'?," "My Last Name" and "How am I Doin'?"

Dotson, meanwhile, will be out in advance of her Capitol Nashville debut album. Her first single, "I'll Try Anything," is due early in the New Year.

Here are Strait's tour dates:

Jan. 13: Charlotte, N.C. (Charlotte Coliseum)
Jan. 14: Birmingham, Ala. (Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center)
Jan. 15: Lafayette, La. (Cajundome)
Jan. 20: Richmond, Va. (Richmond Coliseum)
Jan. 21: Knoxville, Tenn. (Thompson Boling Arena)
Jan. 22: Cincinnati (U.S. Bank Arena)
Jan. 27: Lubbock, Texas (United Spirit Arena)
Jan. 28: Austin, Texas (Frank Erwin Center)
Feb. 3: Las Cruces, N.M. (Pan American Center)
Feb. 4: Phoenix (America West Arena)
Feb. 5: Las Vegas (MGM Grand Garden Arena)
Feb. 17: Greenville, S.C. (BiLo Center)
Feb. 18: Orlando, Fla. (TD Waterhouse Centre)
Feb. 24: Grand Rapids, Mich. (Van Andel Arena)
Feb. 25: Charleston, W.Va. (Charleston Civic Center)
Feb. 26: Indianapolis (Conseco Fieldhouse)
March 3: Rosemont, Ill. (Allstate Arena)
March 4: Kansas City, Mo. (Kemper Arena)
March 5: Denver (Pepsi Center)

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