Dolly Parton, Maren Morris and other celebrities mourn Charley Pride's demise

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Dec 13, 2020, 10:57 AM(IST)

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Dolly Parton, Maren Morris, Jason Aldean, and more remembered Pride's legendary impact on country music by sharing tributes to the musician on social media.

Celebrities mourned the loss of country legend Charley Pride, who died on Saturday due to complications from COVID-19.

Dolly Parton, Maren Morris, Jason Aldean, and more remembered Pride's legendary impact on country music by sharing tributes to the musician on social media.

"I’m so heartbroken that one of my dearest and oldest friends, Charley Pride, has passed away. It’s even worse to know that he passed away from COVID-19. What a horrible, horrible virus. Charley, we will always love you," Parton, 74, wrote on Twitter.

 

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Morris, 30, brought up the Country Music Awards, which was held in person last month and was where Pride made his final public appearance. Pride was honoured with the lifetime achievement award from Jimmie Allen at this year's show.

"I don’t want to jump to conclusions because no family statement has been made, but if this was a result of the CMAs being indoors, we should all be outraged," she wrote. "Rest in power, Charley."

 

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The Country Music Association shared a statement on Twitter after news of Pride's death. "We are deeply saddened by the passing of trailblazing legend Charley Pride, who through talent, courage & determination, made history by becoming the genre’s first Black superstar. We send our condolences to his family during this difficult time," the statement read.

"To say Country Music has lost a trailblazer is an obvious understatement, but in fact one of the biggest losses is Charley’s definitive Country voice. I remember working with Charley in 2009 on 'Country Music: In Performance at the White House' when President and Michelle Obama invited several Country artists to perform. He was a trailblazer in so many ways. It was a special night and Charley was telling amazing stories. Our deepest condolences go out to his wife Rozene and the rest of his family and friends at this sad time," said Sarah Trahern, Country Music Association CEO, in a statement.

Also see: John Prine, Adam Schlesinger & other music legends we have lost due to coronavirus

Country singer Reba McEntire paid tribute to Pride, writing: “Charley Pride will always be a legend in Country music. He will truly be missed but will always be remembered for his great music, wonderful personality and his big heart.”

 

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Country-folk band Flatland Cavalry tweeted lyrics from Pride’s 1971 track “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'”: “Kiss an angel good morning and love her like the devil when you get back home. RIP to the legend Charley Pride.”
 

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Singer-songwriter Kelleigh Bannen commented on Pride’s acceptance speech for the lifetime achievement award at the CMAs: “Heartbroken. I never met Charley Pride but admired him from afar. His acceptance speech for the lifetime achievement CMA award was such a stunning display of humility and humanity from a man who was truly a giant.”

 

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Pride, who died in Dallas, was not the first Black artist to make important contributions to country music, but he was a trailblazer who emerged during a time of division and rancor. Between 1967 and 1987, Pride delivered 52 Top 10 country hits, won Grammy awards and became RCA Records’ top-selling country artist, according to the website.

The Mississippi native picked cotton, served in the U.S. Army and played baseball in the Negro league before moving to Nashville, becoming the first Black country star. He joined the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000, Rolling Stone magazine said.

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