Country music legend Charley Pride passed away on Saturday in Dallas due to complications from COVID-19.He was 86. This took everyone by surprise because he never publicly announced he had the disease. It was just last Tuesday that he posted a video on Facebook about his new website, and he seemed fine. But after he passed away his family released a statement saying he was admitted to the hospital in late November with COVID-19 symptoms. He died almost a month to the day after being given the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at the CMAs. That was also his last public performance. He and Jimmie Allen sang his 1971 crossover hit "Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'". (see picture below) The show was held indoors, so people have been wondering if that's where he caught the virus. The CMAs and Charley's reps issued a joint statement on that. "Everyone followed strict testing protocols outlined by the city health department and unions. Charley was tested prior to traveling to Nashville. He was tested upon landing in Nashville, and again on show day, with all tests coming back negative. After returning to Texas, Charley again tested negative multiple times.[We] are heartbroken by Charley's passing. Out of respect for his family during their grieving period, we will not be commenting on this further." Charley is the son of a Mississippi sharecropper, he served in the army, and he played in the Negro Leagues. He's considered country music's first African American superstar. About that he once said, "Country music is [Black people's] music, too." He had 29 Number One hits between 1967 and 1988, plus 27 Top 10 Country Albums.He was the CMA Entertainer of the Year in 1971 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000. Some of his biggest hits were "Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'", "Is Anybody Goin' to San Antone", and "Someone Loves You Honey". There's a 33-mile stretch of road near his hometown of Sledge, Mississippi called "Charley Pride Highway." Here's another great legacy of Charley Pride's amazing career. There are currently more young Black singer-songwriters working in Nashville than at any point in country music history. One of those young singers being Jimmie Allen, who wrote this in his Instagram story. "Sometimes we will never understand why certain things happen. Through the pain we fight to hold onto the memories that were made. Today is rough."
Charley was amazing, and in my opinion deserves to be in the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. I hope that happens sooner rather than later. You can read more about Charley's incredible life and career by clicking here.