Charley Pride, who became the first Black man to make an impact on the country music charts, has died. He was 86 and passed from Covid-19 complications in Dallas.
Born in Sledge, MS., in 1934, Pride became country music’s first Black superstar and the first Black member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. He is also one of three Black artists to become members of the Grand Ole Opry.
He was honored Nov. 11 by the Country Music Association with a Lifetime Achievement award and performed his hit “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’” during the CMA Awards show at Nashville’s Music City Center with Jimmie Allen.
Pride was also a superb athlete, becoming a two-time Negro baseball league all-star. He played for the Memphis Red Sox and Birmingham Black Barons.
He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000.
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Among his best-known hits: “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’,” “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone” and “Mountain of Love.”
Pride won the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year award in 1971, and its top male vocalist prize in 1971 and 1972.
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