Legendary Country Singer Announcers Surprise Retirement: 'So Grateful'

Country music icon Lee Greenwood has announced plans to retire following a career spanning over four decades.

Greenwood, a Grammy award-winning singer best known for his hit song "God Bless the U.S.A.," revealed his retirement plans at the conclusion of his 2024 tour. He made this announcement during an interview on a podcast with 17-year-old Brilyn Hollyhand, a co-chair of the youth advisory council for the Republican National Committee (RNC).

In the interview, Hollyhand, who is the editor-in-chief of The Truth Gazette and host of "The Brilyn Hollyhand Show" podcast, inquired about the speculations of Greenwood's retirement at the end of 2024 during their conversation before Greenwood's concert on Nov. 9 in Montgomery, Alabama.

"It's not just a rumor. It will be my last year to tour," Greenwood responded and also informed his fans that the final show's details have not yet been determined.

Greenwood emphasized that unlike some artists who have announced retirements only to return later, his final tour will not be a "farewell and then return the next year" type of event.

Having celebrated his 81st birthday recently, Greenwood expressed his desire to retire in order to dedicate more time to his family as he ages, citing specific health concerns as a key reason behind his decision.

"I just turned 81. This is a factor. I've had some surgeries. I have titanium knees, I have a titanium cage in my back with 10 screws.... I just I don't think I can do this much longer with the two boys in college," Greenwood said about his decision to retire.


The singer highlighted the significance of devoting time to his wife, Kimberly Payne, a former Miss Tennessee USA, with whom he has been married for 31 years. He mentioned, "she has yet to have my total time."

Greenwood added, "It's only fair, I think, that I back away at this point and have no distractions but her and I and give these last few years that I will live to her and my two sons. So that's a big decision, and I know it is."

"God Bless the U.S.A." has been prominently featured at former President Donald Trump's campaign rallies nationwide, usually played through the speakers as the president steps onto the stage. Additionally, this song was a frequent choice at various events and gatherings at the White House during Trump's time in office.

Furthermore, in 2019, Greenwood was appointed by Trump to the board of trustees at the Kennedy Center.

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