NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Country music legend Charley Pride has died from complications of COVID-19, according to his manager.
In a press release, Pride's management shared that he died Saturday in Dallas. He was 86.
Pride had 52 top 10 hits on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart from the late 1960s to 1980s, including 30 songs at number one. Some top hits included "Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'" and "Mountain of Love."
He was one of only three African American members of the Grand Ole Opry and the first African African member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, inducted in 2000.
“With a voice for the ages, he fostered understanding, inclusion and connection," said Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. "He is among country music’s most beloved and respected figures, and he found self-expression to be the most crucial political statement. In his autobiography, contemplating his role as a trailblazer and a civil rights pioneer, he wrote, ‘My decision was to sing.’ What a singer. What a legend. What a man.”
Just this year, Pride was honored with a CMA Lifetime Achievement Award and gave what would be his final performance at the November ceremony.
We are deeply saddened by the passing of trailblazing legend Charley Pride, who through talent, courage & determination, made history by becoming the genre’s first Black superstar. We send our condolences to his family during this difficult time. https://t.co/CThdBM284k pic.twitter.com/N0XgnQRCjh— CMA Country Music (@CountryMusic) December 12, 2020
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. (1/2)— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) December 12, 2020