by Alison Bonaguro
As the news started to spread on Saturday (Dec. 12) that country music legend Charley Pride, 86, had died due to complications from Covid-19, country artists from every era shared their heartbreak and their memories on social media.
I had the pleasure of meeting Charley Pride when I was playing the @opry. I was in awe of his presence and his talent. So saddened by the news of his passing. He was a true legend and trailblazer. His impact on our genre and generations of artists will never be forgotten. Rip
— Luke Combs (@lukecombs) December 12, 2020
What a sweet & legendary man. Whenever he saw you he would offer a smile & tell you your birthday. I don’t know how he remembered, but he always did…I’m so glad I got a few chances to be in the presence of Charley. Rest In Peace & sing with the angels… https://t.co/SOfMJ950sP
— Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) December 13, 2020
I lost it after that. Thank you for unapologetically you and being the manifestation of our dreams. Our potential. The realization that WE can be anything we want to be. Even a country singer. I’m so angry about this death. This was preventable.
— Rissi Palmer (@RissiPalmer) December 12, 2020
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. pic.twitter.com/xiLLmqflQ9
— George Strait (@GeorgeStrait) December 13, 2020
I grew up listening to my Dad sing Charley Pride songs. We were hugs fans and I was lucky enough to cross paths with him over the years. This is such a loss to the country music community. He was a gentleman and a true legend. #RIPCharleyPride pic.twitter.com/lUzUOMcwJx
— John Michael Montgomery (@JM2Squared) December 13, 2020
Rest In Peace. My love and thoughts go out to his family and all of his fans. – Dolly (2/2)
— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) December 12, 2020
My heart is so heavy. Charley Pride was an icon a legend and any other word u wanna use for his greatness. He destroyed Barriers and did things that no one had ever done. But today I’m thinking of my friend. Heaven just got one of the finest people I know. I miss and love u CP!
— Darius Rucker (@dariusrucker) December 13, 2020
— Randy Rogers Band (@randyrogersband) December 13, 2020
“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.” — Ricky Skaggs pic.twitter.com/HqOm0BPJZK
— Ricky Skaggs (@RickySkaggs) December 13, 2020
Charley Pride was a hero, and a trailblazer in country music. Everyone who had the pleasure of knowing Charley loved him. He was truly one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. I am saddened beyond belief. My heart is with Rozene and the family tonight.
— Trisha Yearwood (@trishayearwood) December 12, 2020
Sweet. Kind. Courageous. Brave. Thank you Mr. Pride. pic.twitter.com/3fKUrbOBUU
— WadeBowen (@WadeBowen) December 13, 2020
Very sad to hear of the passing of a country legend, Mr Charlie Pride. He was very kind to me early in my career, and his boldness and leadership as an African American country artist broke down many barriers for artists that followed. He will be greatly missed. #RIPCharliePride pic.twitter.com/CJVwaxvXnQ
— John Rich (@johnrich) December 12, 2020
Heartbreaking. I truly loved my friend, Charley Pride. The world will never be the same. He was one of the very best things that ever happened to country music. I’m all tears tonight. #charleypride #KissAnAngelGoodMorning #ihatecovid19 pic.twitter.com/5iOdJNbDuv
— Loretta Lynn (@LorettaLynn) December 13, 2020
We lost a great one today. pic.twitter.com/4oeebVsLZU
— Keith Urban (@KeithUrban) December 12, 2020
It’s such a sad day saying so long to #CharleyPride. I’m just so thankful I got to sing a song with him. That’s where this pic was taken. I also narrated his I’ll Be Me documentary. My heart, my love, my soul… everything goes out to Rozene and the entire Pride family.
— Tanya Tucker (@tanyatucker) December 12, 2020
As a man, he’ll always be an inspiration. He worked hard no matter what obstacle he faced and his willingness to break down racial barriers changed our world for the better. We love you and thank you. Our hearts go out to Rozene and the family. We will miss you Charley. pic.twitter.com/sidAai0vzn
— Tim McGraw (@TheTimMcGraw) December 12, 2020
— Mickey Guyton (@MickeyGuyton) December 13, 2020
Kiss an angel good mornin’. God bless you Charley Pride. Rest In Peace, and thank you for paving the way
— Chase Rice. (@ChaseRiceMusic) December 12, 2020
I’m very VERY sorry to hear the terrible news about Charley Pride.. Kiss An Angel Good Morning is one of my first memories of country music.
— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) December 12, 2020
Your voice. Your humility. The fact that the first time I ever visited the Opry, you were backstage holding court and I was trying not to eavesdrop. pic.twitter.com/1CdgIYRTZz
— MAREN MORRIS (@MarenMorris) December 13, 2020
I had the honor of meeting Charley Pride several times over the years… absolutely gutted to hear of his passing #RIP
— ChrisYoungMusic (@ChrisYoungMusic) December 12, 2020
We’re saddened to hear about the loss of the legendary Charley Pride. He was a true gentleman with a kind heart. Our thoughts are with his loved ones. His music has made a huge impact on the three of us and on the world. #CharleyPride pic.twitter.com/Q2g7bu72Zn
— The Chicks (@thechicks) December 13, 2020
Charley Pride….your music will always remind me of childhood days with my Grandma. “Kaw-Liga”, “Kiss an Angel Good Morning” & “You’re So Good When You’re Bad”…just to name a few. Thank you for sharing your talent with the world. Rest In Peace pic.twitter.com/NwZmqjy3pb
— Brandy Clark (@TheBrandyClark) December 12, 2020
RIP Mr. Pride pic.twitter.com/NqUUNesfH2
— Cole Swindell (@coleswindell) December 12, 2020
So saddened to hear about the passing of Charley Pride. Prayers for his wife Rozene and his family.
— Martina McBride (@martinamcbride) December 12, 2020
It’s a sad day for American music, baseball, and generations of kids who very much needed a hero. #RIPCharleyPride
— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) December 12, 2020
Your voice brought millions together, your smile was infectious and I so love that Montana had a place in your heart. Forever remembered, your legacy lives on. Kiss those angels Good Morning. #RIPCharleyPride pic.twitter.com/Z82fDCqyWk
— Stephanie Quayle (@StephanieQuayle) December 13, 2020
RIP Charlie Pride. Country music lost one of the greats. Prayers for his family. pic.twitter.com/kx2eARZBhO
— Sara Evans (@saraevansmusic) December 12, 2020
Heartbroken on so many levels. We need to make space for real conversations right now, for the full story. We need to celebrate the music and legacy of Charley Pride AND talk about how Country Music overlooks, underpays, steals from, and erases Black people pic.twitter.com/3uBmESCWda
— Cam (@camcountry) December 13, 2020
so much to say about Charley Pride.
id just encourage everyone to read up on his life & listen to his music today. his entire life is a lesson on how to be.
this is 1 of 2 favorite songs of mine that he made famous (the other is “All I Have To Offer You Is Me)
Roll On, MS pic.twitter.com/xEeJNDDTTb
— Charlie Worsham (@charlieworsham) December 12, 2020
Even Ken Burns, the filmmaker behind the recent PBS documentary miniseries Country Music, was mourning Pride. “Charley Pride was a trail blazer whose remarkable voice & generous spirit broke down barriers in country music just as his hero Jackie Robinson had in baseball,” Burns said in a statement. “His last performance was his hit, ’Kiss an Angel Good Mornin.’ Now he is one.”
And Jimmie Allen, who’d been with Pride every step of the way when he was honored with the Country Music Association’s 2020 Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award on November 11, shared this on his Instagram story.
Alison makes her living loving country music. She’s based in Chicago, but she’s always leaving her heart in Nashville.