Music Industry Mourns Country Artist Charley Pride: ‘Truly a Giant’

After news broke Saturday that legendary country musician Charley Pride died of complications from COVID-19, musicians and industry professionals took to social media to honor his career and mourn his death.

Maren Morris commented on the fact that Pride had recently performed at the Country Music Association Awards on Nov. 11. “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,” she wrote.

Dolly Parton also mourned his death, writing, “I’m so heartbroken that one of my dearest and oldest friends, Charley Pride, has passed away. It’s even worse to know that he passed away from COVID-19. What a horrible, horrible virus. Charley, we will always love you.”

Country singer Reba McEntire paid tribute to Pride, writing: “Charley Pride will always be a legend in Country music. He will truly be missed but will always be remembered for his great music, wonderful personality and his big heart.”

Country singer Ronnie Milsap remembered Pride in a statement to Variety.

“Charley Pride, a pioneer, a music man, a baseball player, a good friend and the love of Rozene’s life, has passed on. Without his encouragement when I was playing the Whiskey.A-Go-Go on the Sunset Strip in the ‘70s, I might have never made it to Nashville – and to hear this news tears out a piece of my heart,” Milsap wrote. “That he died of COVID makes me even sadder. These are such sad days with too much lose. Please, to everyone who’s ever loved ‘Kiss An Angel Good Morning,’ ‘Mountain of Love’ or ‘Is Anybody Goin’ To San Antone,’ wear a mask, wash your hands and be wise about gathering. We’ve lost too many, and I just want us all to be here to love each other and the music the way Charley always did for years to come.”

Country-folk band Flatland Cavalry tweeted lyrics from Pride’s 1971 track “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’”: “Kiss an angel good morning and love her like the devil when you get back home. RIP to the legend Charley Pride.”

“The Voice” winner and singer Chevel Shepherd wrote, “Heartbroken to hear about Charley Pride. We just watched you on the CMA Awards. You have touched so many lives, and your music will continue to do just that.”

Singer-songwriter Kelleigh Bannen commented on Pride’s acceptance speech for the lifetime achievement award at the CMAs: “Heartbroken. I never met Charley Pride but admired him from afar. His acceptance speech for the lifetime achievement CMA award was such a stunning display of humility and humanity from a man who was truly a giant.”

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