Country Music Legend Charley Pride Dies At 86
Pride Couldn’t Recover From Corona Virus!
Charley Pride, country music’s first Black star whose exceptional talent on hits such as “Kiss an Angel Good Morning” helped sell millions of records and made him the first Black member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, has died. He was 86.
Pride died Saturday in Dallas of complications from Covid-19, according to Jeremy Westby of the PR firm 2911 Media.
Pride released dozens of albums and sold more than 25 million records during a career that began in the mid-1960s. Hits besides “Kiss an Angel Good Morning” in 1971 included “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone,” “Burgers and Fries,” “Mountain of Love,” and “Someone Loves You Honey.”
He had three Grammy Awards, more than 30 No. 1 hits between 1969 and 1984, won the Country Music Association’s Top Male Vocalist and Entertainer of the Year awards in 1972 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000.
The Smithsonian in Washington acquired memorabilia from Pride, including a pair of boots and one of his guitars, for the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Until the early 1990s, when Cleve Francis came along, Pride was the only Black Country singer signed to a major label but he was always vocal and displeased about it in the larger scheme of things. In an old interview he commented, “They used to ask me how it feels to be the `first colored country singer, then it was `first Negro country singer, then first Black Country singer. Now I’m the first African-American country singer. That’s about the only thing that’s changed. This country is so race-conscious, so ate-up with colors and pigments. I call it skin hangups, it’s a disease.”
After his death his friends and fans publically voiced their praise and feelings for the star, in order to honor his memory. “I’m so heartbroken that one of my dearest and oldest friends, Charley Pride, has passed away. It’s even worse to know that he passed away from COVID-19. What a horrible, horrible virus. Charley, we will always love you,” Dolly Parton tweeted.