Following the tragic death of Charley Pride, his family officially announced their plans to honor the country music legend.
Pride, a pioneer in the industry, paved the way for many country artists that came after him. Known as the first black country star, Pride set the tone for a new country music era.
He passed away at the age of 86 on Dec 12 after suffering COVID-19 complications.
To honor the late country singer, his family and close friends will hold a private wake and memorial in Pride’s hometown of Dallas sometime this week. In addition, the family will have a public celebration of Pride’s life at a later time. Instead of flowers, the family asks fans to donate to The Pride Scholarship at Jesuit College Preparatory School, St. Phillips School and Community center, or any other local charity or food bank.
This Wednesday, CMT will honor the country star when it airs the special, CMT Remembers Charley Pride. The special will showcase Pride’s career, including his many accomplishments and achievements Pride garnered through his career.
Charley Pride: Breaking Barriers in Country Music
In 1966, Pride would forever change country music history when he broke barriers as the first Black country superstar. With over 41 successful albums, he became the first Black member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and was named CMA’s “Entertainer of the Year” in 1971. He was honored with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” at this year’s ceremony.
Following his passing, many of the world’s biggest stars have expressed their sadness and condolences via social media. Jimmie Allen, Darius Rucker, and Mickey Guyton have described the impact Pride had on their life.
Sharing Pride’s impact on his career, Allen said that “the loss of the legend feels as though Superman died.” Allen continued, saying, “That really showed me that it doesn’t matter what people might think you can’t do because of the color of your skin.”
Darius Rucker also noted the impact he had on the music world, calling Pride not just an icon or legend but also someone who “destroyed barriers and did things that no one had ever done.”
In Pride’s memoir, he wrote that “we’re not color blind yet” when it comes to the industry and society as a whole, but he believes “we’ve advanced a few paces along the path.”