Charley Pride is being recognized for his contributions to both country music and humanity. The legendary artist will receive the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s CMA Awards.
Sarah Trahern, CEO of the Country Music Association, says Pride’s contributions continue to set the foundation for country music decades later.
“Charley Pride is the epitome of a trailblazer,” Trahern said. “Few other artists have grown country music’s rich heritage and led to the advancement of country music around the world like Charley. His distinctive voice has created a timeless legacy that continues to echo through the country community today. We could not be more excited to honor Charley with one of CMA’s highest accolades.”
Billboard describes Pride as country music’s first “black superstar.” Indeed, Pride notched 29 No.1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. Pride’s biggest hits include “Just Between You and Me” and “I’d Rather Love You” and “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone.”
The 54th annual CMA Awards will air Nov. 11 on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.
Other winners of the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award include Kenny Rogers, Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton. The award started in 2012, when Nelson himself was honored by the CMA.
Pride and Other Accomplishments
Pride is the sole African-American artist to win the CMA Entertainer of the Year Award. Further, he is also the only African-American artist to win the Male Vocalist of the Year Award. Pride’s two victories of the award are the 1971 and 1972 titles.
In addition, Pride is also a Country Music Hall of Fame member, joining in 2000. Also, he is a Grand Ole Opry member, and has been since 1993. This is not to mention that Pride is the first-ever African-American to host the CMA Awards, doing so all the way back in 1975.