Pride rose to prominence as the first African American country music superstar. And he did it in a time of racial segregation and the Civil Rights Movement. Back when Pride first started, record labels didn’t send his photos to radio stations because they didn’t want the stations to know he was black.
Allen told his 6-year-old son Aadyn to follow Pride’s example and to never stop trying for his dreams.
“I just told [my son, Aadyn], ‘This is a guy that wasn’t afraid to chase a dream because he looked different than everyone else in that career. And he just showed that if you work hard, you’re good to people, you continue to try to be a better person and also a better artist, you’ll get where you want to go,” Allen told Radio.com.
Jimmie Allen Performed with Charley Pride
Pride’s death feels especially emotional for Allen, considering the duo performed together just weeks earlier. Allen took the stage with Pride to perform a rendition of Pride’s popular hit “Kiss an Angel Good Morning.”
Pride also accepted the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at the event.
“I got to perform with a legend, a childhood hero, someone that went from just a hero to a friend,” Allen said. “We would talk on the phone a lot. We built a great, great relationship. I just feel like no matter what I do in my career, nothing will top performing with Charley Pride.”
As for Pride’s ultimate legacy, Allen believes his influence will survive in other black artists he inspired to follow in his footsteps. Allen thanks Pride for being a trailblazer.
“Someone asked me the other day, ’Jimmie, what do you think Charley’s legacy is?’ I said, ’We are: Me, Darius (Rucker), Kane (Brown), Mickey (Guyton), Yola, The War and Treaty — we’re his legacy,'” Allen said. “We wouldn’t be here without Charley Pride. “It’s just an honor that I got to know him. And I’m so glad to see what he started will not stop with him.