The Legacy of Charley Pride: Country stars remember iconic singer

Published 7:35 am Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Charley Pride performs one of the five songs nominated for Single of the Year during the third annual CMA Awards show at the Ryman Auditorium on Oct. 15, 1969.

Country music icon Charley Pride sadly passed away on Saturday Dec. 12. The legendary singer was 86 years old. He leaves behind family, friends, and fans across the globe who have enjoyed his work for decades.

Pride shattered racial barriers as one of the earliest African American country musicians to reach superstar status. Fans remember his classic hits like "Kiss an Angel Good Morning," "High on A Mountain of Love", and "Is Anybody Going to San Antone?" 

While there is no doubt Pride will be missed by his fans around the world, it should also be noted that his many peers in the world of country music are mourning his tragic death. Many immediately took to social media to express their grief at the sad news, and to share happy memories.

The Bellamy Brothers posted a statement on their official Facebook Page reminiscing about the times they had with Pride while touring the world with him.

They said: "We’re heartbroken to hear the news about our friend Charley Pride. We toured many miles together over the years including Ireland where this photo was taken around the mid 1980s. Charley was one of the good guys. He and his music will live in our hearts forever. Rest In Peace, Charley."

Ricky Skaggs stated that he would miss Charley Pride. He remarked on Prides spirit, as well as his talent.

Skaggs said: “I loved Charley Pride and will miss his happy spirit. His voice was so unique, his records were so well done, he was a great entertainer, and he opened up a whole new market for country music. No wonder he is in the Hall of Fame.”

Outside of his contemporary peers, Pride had a great influence on many artists that came after him. Many of them also took to social media to express their sadness at Pride's death, and their appreciation for his life.

"Charley was always incredibly supportive and kind to me," said country superstar Trace Adkins, "He represented himself and The Grand Ole Opry with courage and grace. It was my privilege to know him."

Adkins was one of many artists who expressed what a joy it was for them to get to work with Charley Pride.

George Strait remembered meeting Charley Pride for the first time, and fondly reminisced about what a kind man he was.

Strait said: "So sad to hear about the loss of my old friend Charley Pride today. He was an amazing entertainer and could sing a country song like no other. I had the privilege of getting to work with him early in my career and he couldn’t have been nicer and more welcoming to a new guy. Great example for us all. He was extremely funny, too. Norma’s and my thoughts and prayers go out to Rozene and family. We will miss him dearly. See you down the road Charley."

Keith Urban expressed just how much Pride meant to him back when he was just a fan. Urban then remembered what it was like to actually get to perform with someone he had admired for so long. 

Urban said: "We lost a great one today. Charley was such a pioneer on so many levels, but for me he was among the first country music voices I heard on our family’s record player. I sang many of his songs in my cover band days, and so it was surreal to finally be on stage with him at our All For The Hall concert playing Kiss An Angel Good Morning. He was also one of kindest people I’ve ever met. Peace and blessings to your beautiful soul Charley – and to all of your family today."

This article originally appeared on Leesville Daily Leader: The Legacy of Charley Pride: Country stars remember iconic singer