The death of country music legend Charley Pride is being questioned by several of the genre’s stars, who are wondering whether his performance at the Country Music Association’s indoor awards show a month before he acquired Covid-19 may be connected.
Singer Maren Morris led the inquiries on Saturday. In a since-deleted tweet, Morris suggested the indoor event could be the reason behind Pride getting Covid-19 and dying from its complications.
The CMA awards were held on Nov. 11 at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and were televised by ABC. Unlike many awards shows, the CMAs were held indoors and had many stars attend in person. They sat at tables with faces uncovered, although the organization claimed it extensively tested everyone.
Pride, the first Black country music star, performed his hit “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'” at the show in what would be his final public performance before dying Saturday at age 86. He was honored with a Lifetime Achievement award at the show.
Morris tweeted that people should be “outraged” if there’s a CMAs connection to Pride’s death.
“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. Rest in power, Charley,’ Morris wrote.
Singer Mickey Guyton, another artist who attended the event, replied to Morris’s tweet, saying “Gurl I thought the same damn thing.” Guyton added later, “We need answers as to how Charley Pride got covid.”
The CMAs defended itself in a statement, and has claimed it followed safety protocols.
“After returning to Texas following the CMA Awards, Charley again tested negative multiple times. All of us in the Country Music community are heartbroken by Charley’s passing. Out of respect for his family during their grieving period, we will not be commenting on this further.”
Several artists dropped out of the CMAs after testing positive for the coronavirus.