Watch George Strait, Mickey Guyton and More Tribute Charley Pride

'CMT Giants: Charley Pride' honored a true trailblazer.

Written by Chris Parton
Watch George Strait, Mickey Guyton and More Tribute Charley Pride
Charley Pride; Photo Credit: Joseph Llanes

Country icons, fresh-faced stars and more turned out to salute a trailblazing hero on Wednesday night (August 25), joining the cast of CMT Giants: Charley Pride. Making its broadcast debut, the evening of live music was meant to tribute a late Country Music Hall of Fame member who changed the playing field forever, proving Pride’s impact with some powerful performances.

Over the course of the TV special, legends like George Strait took the stage to honor the departed legend, delivering reverential performances of Pride’s best loved songs. Strait, for example, applied his timeless vocal to the 1970 favorite, “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone?,” and he wasn’t alone. Others like Alan Jackson delivered a heartbroken rendition of “Where Do I Put Her Memory?,” highlighting the song craft that let Pride tear down racial stereotypes.

With a singular place in history, Charley Pride was one of the first black artists to break into the country mainstream. A consistent hit maker through the 1960s, ’70s and beyond, he opened doors for many of today’s country stars — and some of those stars were part of the CMT tribute, turning in heartfelt performances in Pride’s honor.

Fellow Grand Ole Opry member Darius Rucker offered up “Someone Loves You Honey,” while Jimmie Allen presented “All I Have To Offer You (Is Me).” Likewise, Mickey Guyton sang the deceptively deep, “I’m Just Me,” and Pride’s signature hit, “Kiss an Angel Good Morning,” was performed by a diverse trio of talents. Superstar Luke Combs teamed up with steel-guitar phenom Robert Randolph and country newcomer Reyna Roberts for the captivating moment, showing how Pride’s legacy carries on. The night also included songs from Gladys Knight, Garth Brooks and more, as well as a rollicking performance by Pride’s son, Dion.

Charley Pride died after a battle with COVID-19 on December 12, 2020, just weeks after he was featured in a special salute at the 2020 CMA Awards. Beloved throughout the industry, he won the CMA Entertainer of the Year award in 1971 — the first and only solo African-American country artist to do so — and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000. Fans can catch a re-broadcast of the emotional 90-minute special on August 29 at 12p/11c on CMT.