Charley Pride, Trailblazing Country Music Pioneer, Dead At 86

By Jason Hall

December 12, 2020

Country music trailblazer Charley Pride has reportedly died at the age of 86 from complications of COVID-19.

Pride's publicist confirmed the legendary singer's death in a press release on Saturday (December 12).

"Charley Pride, whose rich baritone voice and impeccable song-sense altered American culture, died Saturday, December 12, 2020, in Dallas, Texas of complications from Covid-19 at age 86," the statement read.

Last month, Pride accepted the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2020 CMA Awards in Nashville, which included his final live performance of his legendary hit 'Kiss An Angel Good Mornin.''

Pride is credited as country music's first Black superstar with No. 1 hits spanning three decades, including 'Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'' and 'Is Anybody Goin' to San Antone.'

The Mississippi native won CMA Entertainer of the Year in 1971 and Male Artist of the Year in 1971 and 1972, while also becoming the first Black country artist to co-host the ceremony in 1975 alongside Glen Campbell.

“No person of color had ever done what he has done,” said Darius Rucker in the PBS American Masters film Charley Pride: I’m Just Me via the press release.

Pride has also received three GRAMMY Awards and was enshrined in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000.

Photo: Getty Images

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