Charley Pride, Country’s First Black Superstar, Dies of Covid-19 Complications

His many hits include "Kiss an Angel Good Morning," "Is Anybody Goin' to San Antone"

Charley Pride, whose accolades include membership to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry, died Saturday (Dec. 12) of complications from Covid-19. He was 86.

Pride is considered country music’s first African American superstar. He scored 29 No. 1 hits between 1969 and 1983 and charted 67 singles in his groundbreaking career. as well as the CMA Entertainer of the Year award in 1971.

Charley Frank Pride was born into a sharecropping family in Sledge, Mississippi, on March 18, 1934. He recalled walking four miles to and from a segregated grade school while white children passed by in school buses. Because his father scorned the roughness and ribaldry of blues music, Pride grew up listening to the Grand Ole Opry and idolizing such stars as Roy Acuff and Ernest Tubb.

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