© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Kris Kristofferson performs in Britain in 2017

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Country singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson has quietly retired from touring after more than 50 years in the music business.

The news, buried in a news release earlier this week, comes a year after the “Me and Bobby McGee” singer played his last gig on the Outlaw Country Cruise in the Caribbean in January 2020.

As the coronavirus pandemic shuttered live music venues last year, Kristofferson’s decision not to return to the road felt natural, his longtime manager Tamara Saviano told Variety on Thursday.

“It was just sort of a slow changing of the guard thing,” Saviano said. “To us on this side of the fence it was an organic, normal, ‘things are changing’ thing. Kris is aging; Kris is 84. It didn’t feel like such big news to us.”

The announcement came in a news release that said a new management company would represent Kristofferson’s business affairs, alongside his son John, after Kristofferson “offically retired in 2020.”

Kristofferson rose to fame in the 1970s in Nashville and wrote classics including “Help Me Make it Through the Night” and “For the Good Times.”

He was also a sought-after actor, winning a Golden Globe for his lead role in the 1976 version of “A Star is Born” opposite Barbra Streisand.

Kristofferson began experiencing debilitating memory loss in his mid-70s which his wife in 2016 said had been diagnosed as a result of Lyme’s Disease, and which had much improved.

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