After more than 13 years in the country music business, Billy Currington is ready to see himself as the top-billed artist on tour. The Georgia native, who has opened shows for some of the genre's biggest names, will begin his very first headlining tour, the 2016 Summer Forever Tour, in mid-February.

The singer is quick to note that he's "been fortunate" to learn from some of the best -- Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw and Lady Antebellum, among others -- but he's "never really done my [own] whole tour." When asked if he feels any trepidation, Currington says that he is more than ready to be the one in charge.

"It feels awesome," he tells The Boot. "It’s really nice to take the reins, get out there and see how it goes, be the leader or whatever you want to call it -- just kind of create a little small business, go out there and play some music and see who wants to show up. I’m looking forward to that. There’s so many things I look forward to with having my own tour; just getting out there and having somebody open up for me is pretty cool."

When selecting his trek's opening act, Currington was lucky enough to get his very first choice: Kelsea Ballerini.

"I love her. She’s so sweet," Currington gushes. "I did a show with her this past year, and there was a connection. We hit it off, we got to know each other, and I remember telling my manager, ‘Man, I can just feel a fire in this girl. I can see the star power. If she’s available, I’d love to work with her.'"

Currington's new tour takes its name from his sixth studio album, Summer Forever, released in June. The artist acknowledges that narrowing down songs for his projects hasn't gotten any easier since his debut disc.

"... There’s so many great songs that come my way. And, in my iTunes library, there’s about 4 million uncut songs from great songwriters. And all the while, I’m writing songs myself," Currington explains. "I’ve just got so many of them; it takes forever to go through them and really decide, get a sense of what really gets inside your heart, really seeing what your gut feeling says, which ones are going to make people do the things that you want, like make them laugh, sing along, make them cry, make them want to dance, make them want to fight, make them want to make love, all those things. It takes me a minute to sort that out."

However, his concerts are a great opportunity to help that process along.

"I’ve taken a lot of them and sing them live, and if they’re a dud, I’ll never play them again, and I’ll never record them," Currington continues. "That’s the way I can tell: if I sing them live to people that never heard them."

The 2016 Summer Forever Tour is scheduled to kick off on Feb. 19 in San Antonio, Texas. A complete list of dates, as well as ticketing and venue information, is available on Currington's official website.

Summer Forever is available for purchase on Amazon and iTunes.

2016's Country Music Tours