Charley Pride to Receive 2020 Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at CMA Awards

Pride has spent his career breaking down barriers.

Written by Lauren Laffer
Charley Pride to Receive 2020 Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at CMA Awards
Charley Pride; Photo Credit: Joseph Llanes

Country music trailblazer Charley Pride will receive the 2020 Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at the 54th annual CMA Awards on November 11.

According to the Country Music Association, the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award is “for an iconic artist who has attained the highest degree of recognition in Country Music. The Award was established to recognize an artist who has achieved both national and international prominence and stature through concert performances, humanitarian efforts, philanthropy, record sales and public representation at the highest level. The artist receiving this Award has positively impacted and contributed to the growth of the genre throughout a course of years that have proven to have an unprecedented historical impact on fans and industry alike.”

“Charley Pride is the epitome of a trailblazer,” says Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer, in a press release. “Few other artists have grown Country Music’s rich heritage and led to the advancement of Country Music around the world like Charley. His distinctive voice has created a timeless legacy that continues to echo through the Country community today. We could not be more excited to honor Charley with one of CMA’s highest accolades.”  

Throughout his career, Pride has been one to knockdown walls and break barriers, and is noted as the genre’s first black superstar. His career spans more than five decades, earning him 29 Number One singles and more than 50 Top 10s, which include “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone” (1970), “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’” (1971) and “All I Have to Offer You (Is Me)” (1969). He was named CMA Entertainer of the Year in 1971 and became the first black man to host the celebration. He is both a member of the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Past recipients of the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award include Willie Nelson (2012), Kenny Rogers (2013), Johnny Cash (2015), Dolly Parton (2016) and Kris Kristofferson (2019).   

The 54th Annual CMA Awards, hosted by Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker, broadcasts live from Nashville’s Music City Center Wednesday, Nov. 11 (8:00-11:00 PM/EST) on ABC.