Charley Pride’s Son Dion Opens Up About the ‘Hard’ Loss of His Father

by Jonathan Howard
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The upcoming special, CMT Giants: Charley Pride, comes out Wednesday. Last year the country music legend passed at 86 years old. Due to complications with COVID-19, the legendary country music artist was unable to shake the virus.

It was November 2020 when Charley Pride received the prestigious Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award. He was given the honor at the CMA Awards. However, it wouldn’t be long before the country singer tragically passed on December 12th. Since then, many artists, fans, and others have dedicated memorials and shared their thoughts about Pride. The CMT special coming up will celebrate the artist, but almost a year later, his son Dion is still feeling the pain.

“It was hard because it was so sudden,” Dion told PEOPLE, “I never saw him coherent again.” After his COVID diagnosis, Pride was soon in hospice care. Dion spoke with his father just a couple of days before the CMA Awards. Although his father was soon in the hospital, incoherent and sick, Dion says that he said everything he wanted to say.

“[There] was nothing I didn’t say to him that I wanted to. We always said what we felt every time we talked,” said Dion. While he had no regrets about his last words with his father, it was hard to see him go through the decline. Of course, Dion’s mom Rozene has also taken the death hard and the two miss Charley every day.

“We [he and his mom] spent a Sunday together at the house and we ate dinner together. But still, we miss him very badly,” Dion explained. Anyone who has lost a parent understands the pain that comes with losing them. When their health turns for the worst on a dime, that is when death can be hard to accept and even harder to get over.

Country Legends Celebrate Charley Pride

Tomorrow on Wednesday, August 25th, CMT will honor the late Charley Pride with their CMT Giants special. The entire 90-minute show has been recorded already. For Dion and his family, the dedications, songs, and kind words for his father were truly special. To see the country music world celebrate Pride was an understandably emotional moment.

“This is so very meaningful to my family,” said Pride’s son, “I was glad the lights were off because I teared up several times.” With performances from legends such as Garth Brooks, George Strait, Wynonna Judd, Darius Rucker, and more, the show should be awesome. Truly, Charley Pride deserves a memorial from the best in country music because he was the best of country music.

Throughout his career, Pride made history. Whether it was selling more records for RCA than anyone since Elvis, or opening the door for Black artists in mainstream country music. Those accomplishments touched the minds, hearts, and souls of millions.

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