Country Pioneer Charley Pride Dead of Coronavirus, Dolly Parton and More pay Tribute

Wikimedia Commons, by GREG MATHISON - Cropped from U.S. Department of Defense photo: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Charley_Pride#/media/File:Charley-Pride_1981.JPEG

Country music trailblazer Charley Pride, the first Black member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, has died from complications related to COVID-19 at the age of 86. 

With hits “Kiss an Angel Good Morning,” and “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone,” Pride took home three Grammy Awards and was named the entertainer of the year at the 1971 Country Music Awards, along with male vocalist of the year, which he was also awarded in 1971. He made his final appearance accepting a lifetime achievement award at the show.  

The stars of the music industry poured out tributes in his memory.

Dolly Parton

The Holly Dolly Christmas icon is “heartbroken” over the death of one of her “dearest” friends, which was compounded by the fact that his passing was a result of coronavirus. “It’s even worse to know that he passed away from COVID-19. What a horrible, horrible virus.”

Jason Aldeen 

The “Got What I Got” singer wrote that he was a fan of Pride’s growing up, and in awe of his accomplishments, “I can’t imagine what this man went through as a Black Country Music artist trying to break into this business, but what a career he had.”

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Reba McEntire

The Reba star posted: “Charley Pride will always be a legend in Country music. He will truly be missed but will always be remembered for his great music, wonderful personality and his big heart.” 

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Luke Combs

The “Forever After All” singer shared a story about meeting Pride at the Grand Ole Opry.  “I had the pleasure of meeting Charley Pride when I was playing the @opry. I was in awe of his presence and his talent. So saddened by the news of his passing.

Brad Paisley 

The “Whiskey Lullaby” singer met Pride when he was just fifteen. “He gave his home phone number to my dad, and said “I’d love to help your son.” And help he did. I am so blessed to have had so many memories with him,” Paisley wrote. 

Billy Ray Cyrus

The “Achy Breaky Heart” singer posted a photo of his last meeting with Pride. “We met in ‘92 playing shows together in Australia. His beloved sweetheart Rosie by his side. A gentleman… legend and true trail blazer,” Cyrus commented.  

Tim McGraw

The “Don’t Take This Girl” singer wrote about how Pride was a part of his career from the start.  “Charley was just the nicest man, generous of heart and spirit. So kind. Musically he will always be a legend and one of the country greats. As a man, he’ll always be an inspiration. He worked hard no matter what obstacle he faced and his willingness to break down racial barriers changed our world for the better.’

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Keith Urban

The Australian singer lamented how Pride’s records were the first country music he had ever heard.  “Charley was such a pioneer on so many levels, but for me he was among the first country music voices I heard on our family’s record player. I sang many of his songs in my cover band days, and so it was surreal to finally be on stage with him at our All For The Hall concert playing Kiss An Angel Good Morning.”

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Kane Brown 

The “Heaven” singer commented that Pride paved the way for other artists, including himself. “You were a pioneer and paved the way for many artists-including me. You will always be remembered and we will always honor and keep your music alive.”

Tanya Tucker 

The “Delta Down” singer posted a photo of herself and Pride. “It’s such a sad day saying so long to #CharleyPride. I’m just so thankful I got to sing a song with him. That’s where this pic was taken,” she tweeted.

 

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Raymond
Raymond
4 months ago

I remember him since 1972 in Arkansas,great country singer.

Dinkus
Dinkus
4 months ago
Reply to  Raymond

Why aren’t there 100,000’s more like him. A total class guy. RIP.

JohnS
JohnS
4 months ago

Sorry to hear he died. I was a long tom fan of his. Covid is a final blow but what other condition did he have?

Jersey Girl
Jersey Girl
4 months ago
Reply to  JohnS

That was to be MY question!!!! 86 – not a bad run!!!!! Wish my parents had that good luck, Dad had a fatal disease and Mom met a STUPID and UNCARING physician!!!

Tom
Tom
4 months ago

Tis a shame, I enjoyed his music immensely, put his heart and soul into his music.