Charley Pride, one of the most popular Black country singers of his era, died on Saturday after a battle with COVID-19. He was 86.
The iconic singer became the first Black artist to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, as well as the first Black country artist to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. His last public performance was at the CMA Awards in Nashville on Nov. 11, where he sang “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’” with Jimmie Allen after accepting the CMA Lifetime Achievement Award.
Upon hearing the news of his death, Jimmie Allen paid tribute to Pride, who he had performed a duet of “Kiss an Angel Good Morning” with last month at the CMA Awards.
“Sometimes we will never understand why certain things happen,” Allen posted on his Instagram Story. “Through the pain we fight to hold onto the memories that were made. Do I always agree with you things God allows to take place… hell no, but I trust through the pain of loss that he has a plan of healing and unity.”
Allen also shared a video to Instagram about how is was feeling after having “lost a legend.”
“Rest Is Love Mr Pride ✊🏽♠️,” he captioned the post.
A post shared by J I M M I E A L L E N (@jimmieallen)
A number of country artists, including Maren Morris, Dolly Parton, Luke Combs, and Brad Paisley, also took to social media to express their condolences.
Morris expressed her condolences and said she hoped his death wasn’t “a result of the CMAs being indoors.”
“I don’t want to jump to conclusions because no family statement has been made, but if this was a result of the CMAs being indoors, we should all be outraged,” she wrote. “Rest in power, Charley.”
“F**k this year,” she later wrote. Also tweeting, “Your voice. Your humility. The fact that the first time I ever visited the Opry, you were backstage holding court and I was trying not to eavesdrop.”
“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,” she tweeted. “Rest In Peace. My love and thoughts go out to his family and all of his fans. – Dolly.”
Rest In Peace. My love and thoughts go out to his family and all of his fans. – Dolly (2/2)
Jason Aldean posted a black-and-white photograph of Pride, writing, “Just learning of the passing of another one of our legends in Country Music. I can’t imagine what this man went through as a Black Country Music artist trying to break into this business, but what a career he had. I grew up such a fan of his music and his voice and he will be greatly missed by all of us. RIP Mr. Charley Pride.”
A post shared by Jason Aldean (@jasonaldean)
Jimmie Allen shared a heartfelt note on his Instagram Story. “Sometimes we will never understand why certain things happen. Through the pain we fight to hold onto the memories that were made,” he wrote. “Do I always agree with things God allows to take place …..hell no, but I trust through the pain of loss that he has a plan of healing and unity. Today is rough.”
See more tributes below.
My friend Charlie Pride passed away today. He was a man i very much admired because he took the road less traveled by becoming not just a country singer but a driving force in county music. More than 50 of his songs have been in the top 10 AND nearly his music has hit#1 30 times
I’m very VERY sorry to hear the terrible news about Charley Pride.. Kiss An Angel Good Morning is one of my first memories of country music.
Charley Pride will always be a legend in Country music. He will truly be missed but will always be remembered for his great music, wonderful personality and his big heart. My thoughts are with his wife Rozene and their family. RIP, Charley. pic.twitter.com/2IYFfx4kLo
Charley Pride was a hero, and a trailblazer in country music. Everyone who had the pleasure of knowing Charley loved him. He was truly one of the kindest people I've ever met. I am saddened beyond belief. My heart is with Rozene and the family tonight.
The last time I spoke to my good friend and legend Charley Pride. We met in ‘92 playing shows together in Australia. His beloved sweetheart Rosie by his side. A gentleman… legend and true trail blazer. With much respect #RIPpic.twitter.com/dewMqcC6Rk
A post shared by Brad Paisley (@bradpaisley)
I had the pleasure of meeting Charley Pride when I was playing the @opry. I was in awe of his presence and his talent. So saddened by the news of his passing. He was a true legend and trailblazer. His impact on our genre and generations of artists will never be forgotten. Rip
RIP Charlie Pride. Country music lost one of the greats. Prayers for his family. 💙 pic.twitter.com/kx2eARZBhO
Dang. One of the great honors Ive had in nashville was being asked to speak about Mr Pride on his PBS documentary. I’d implore you guys to just see how great he was … at many things . . Music, sports, business. And the many challenges he overcame to be elite. RIP Charley Pride https://t.co/HW9AYrM2c5
Saddened to hear the news that legendary Charley Pride has died. My heart breaks as 2020 gets worse. #[email protected] family.
I had the honor of meeting Charley Pride several times over the years… absolutely gutted to hear of his passing #RIP
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