Charley Pride’s Manager Addresses Critics of CMA Awards After Country Star’s Death

by Thad Mitchell

The country music industry lost one of its brightest stars with the passing of legendary singer Charley Pride last month.

Pride, who was 86-years-old at the time of his passing, died following a battle with COVID-19 on December 12. Just one month before his passing, Pride performed at the CMA Awards in Nashville on November 11. While it isn’t known how or where the country star contracted the deadly virus, many are speculating it could have occurred at the large indoor gathering. Country music stars Maren Morris and Mickey Guyton are among those raising these questions.

Speaking with The Dallas Morning News, Pride’s longtime manager and former bandmate Kevin Bailey addresses the rumors. He says Pride underwent COVID-19 testing while in Nashville and upon returning to Dallas. Each test taken by Pride came back negative, according to Bailey.

“This COVID thing, it’s impossible to know where it came from, where you got it,” he says. “I do know that Charley tested negative twice after he came back from Nashville, and it may have even been three times. My understanding is that when Charley went into the hospital, we thought he had pneumonia. Somebody decided to do another test, and then they put him in the COVID unit.”

Bailey was also complimentary of the precautions taken by the Country Music Association to prevent spreading the virus.

“The Country Music Association took every precaution you can imagine,” he says. “We were tested almost daily.”

Charley Pride’s Legacy Honored at CMA Awards

During the award ceremony, Pride performed “Kiss an Angel Good Morning,” one of his greatest hits. He was also honored with the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented by Jimmie Allen.

Member’s of Pride’s family shared a social media post after his death, thanking his fans for their prayers and support.

“Charley felt blessed to have such wonderful fans all over the world,” the post states. “He would want his fans to take this virus very seriously.”

H/T: Pop Culture