It is a sad day in the country music community as artists are mourning the loss of the legendary Charley Pride.
In a press release sent out on Saturday (December 12), it was confirmed that Pride died in his Dallas home early Saturday due to complications of COVID-19. No further details were given on how he contracted the virus or for how long he had been battling the Coronavirus diagnosis.
Pride was known throughout the music industry as country music’s first Black superstar, with hits like “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone” and “Mountain of Love.” Within a 20 year span, Pride released 52 songs that landed in the Top 10 on the country countdown, and at one point in his career, earned the title of RCA Record’s top-selling overall artist.
The country icon most recently earned the 2020 CMA Lifetime Achievement Award and performed his single, “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin,'” at the 54th Annual CMA Awards alongside newcomer Jimmie Allen.
Allen is just one of many country artists in the genre today that look up to Pride paving the way for other Black artists and powering through prejudice.
“No person of color had ever done what he has done,” Darius Rucker previously said about Pride in the PBS American Masters film, Charley Pride: I’m Just Me.
Pride is survived by his siblings, Harmon, Stephen, Catherine Sanders and Maxine Pride, as well as his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
The family is asking for donations to a number of organizations, including The Pride Scholarship at Jesuit College Preparatory School, St. Philips School and Community Center and The Food Bank, in lieu of flowers.
Pride was 86 at the time of his death.