Singer Charley Pride, first black country music star, died of complications from COVID-19 on Saturday. He was 86 years old.
The one who was named Artist of the Year at the Country Music Awards in 1971, rose to success in the 1970s.
Born in Sledge, Mississippi in 1934, Charley Pride says he grew up listening to the famous radio show “Grand Ole Opry”.
In the 1950s, he was a professional baseball player in the Yankees organization without ever entering the big leagues.
In 1962, singers Red Foley and Red Sovine convinced him to come to Nashville after hearing him cover a song by Hank Williams.
His early career was full of demands for civil rights. His record company therefore decides to send his first songs to American radios without a picture of Pride on the cover.
The musician had his first big success in 1969 with the title “All I Have to Offer You (Is Me)”.
He will then publish many other hits including “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin” in 1971 which won the Grammy for best country song in 1973.
Charley Pride becomes in 2000 the first black singer inducted into the “Country Music Hall of Fame”.
His last public appearance was on November 11 when he received the “Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award” from the CMA.
Many artists from the country scene paid tribute to the singer on social media all day Saturday.