Country music king George Strait wants to be clear. His upcoming four shows and likely more at MGM Resorts’ new Las Vegas Arena next year aren’t some re-emergence from retirement.

The 63-year-old may have hung up his touring boots last year after four decades and his “Cowboy Rides Away” shows, but he’s hardly done writing, singing or performing.

“Some people that I have told that I’d be doing some dates in Vegas in 2016 at the Las Vegas Arena, they go: ‘Well, you retired. I thought you retired.’ … I never said that,” he said.

Strait announced that he would perform four upcoming shows at the 20,000-seat arena — April 22-23 and Sept. 9-10 — and release a new album, “Cold Beer Conversation,” available starting Friday.

The Grammy winner and repeat Country Music Association entertainer of the year said he’s always looking for a good swing tune and wrote “It Takes All Kinds” with lyrics such as, “Some got a boat they like to float/ Some got a story they sugarcoat/ some got a clue and then some don’t/ it takes all kinds.”

The Las Vegas Strip has increasingly become a hub for country music fans, whether seeing Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn at Caesars Palace or seeing The Judds reunite at upcoming shows at the Venetian.

Panthers QB Newton to host TV show

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton will be hosting a television show on the Nickelodeon network next year. Multiple media outlets report that Newton will host a show called “I Wanna Be” that will feature Newton taking children to help their dreams come true. Newton will film the show during the offseason. The quarterback says he wants to create positive messages to inspire the next generation. The Pro-Bowl signal-caller will also serve as executive producer of the series.


Debut: Comic Kevin Hart will be the first of an eclectic list of guests on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” during Trevor Noah’s first week as host. Hart will be on Monday, when Noah debuts as Jon Stewart’s replacement. Whitney Wolfe, founder of the new dating app Bumble, and Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie will be on the next two nights. Noah’s first musical guest will be Ryan Adams, who has made an album covering Taylor Swift’s “1989” disc. He’ll be on Oct. 1.


Honored: James Patterson, the bestselling author and tireless advocate for books and literacy, is receiving an honorary National Book Award. Patterson has won the Literarian Award for “outstanding service to the American literary community,” the National Book Foundation announced Wednesday. Patterson has donated millions of dollars to bookstores and libraries and hundreds of thousands of books to children and members of the military. Previous recipients of the Literarian prize include Maya Angelou and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Patterson, 68, will be honored Nov. 18 at the annual National Book Awards ceremony dinner in Manhattan.

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