close
Thursday December 09, 2021

Country legend Charley Pride dies of COVID at 86

Charley Pride, who died in Dallas, was a trailblazer in making important contributions to country music

By Web Desk
December 13, 2020
Charley Pride, who died in Dallas, was a trailblazer in making important contributions to country music

African-American country singer Charley Pride, whose No. 1 country hits included All I Have to Offer You (Is Me) and Kiss an Angel Good Mornin, died on Saturday at age 86 of complications from COVID-19, according to his website.

Pride, who died in Dallas, was not the first Black artist to make important contributions to country music, but he was a trailblazer who emerged during a time of division and rancor. Between 1967 and 1987, Pride delivered 52 Top 10 country hits, won Grammy awards and became RCA Records’ top-selling country artist, according to the website.

“We’re not color blind yet, but we’ve advanced a few paces along the path and I like to think I’ve contributed something to that process,” Pride wrote in his memoir.

The Mississippi native picked cotton, served in the US Army and played baseball in the Negro league before moving to Nashville, becoming the first Black country star. He joined the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000, Rolling Stone magazine said.

“I’m so heartbroken that one of my dearest and oldest friends, Charley Pride, has passed away,” country music star Dolly Parton said on Twitter. “It’s even worse to know that he passed away from COVID-19. What a horrible, horrible virus. Charley, we will always love you.”

Pride’s final performance came on Nov. 11, 2020, when he sang his hit “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’” during the Country Music Association Award show at Nashville’s Music City Center.

“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,” country music star Reba McEntire said on Twitter.