‘He Was a Pioneer’: Charlie Pride, first black country music star, dies of complications from Covid

Charlie Pride, country music’s first black star, has died of complications from Covid.

His publicity agent confirmed that Braid, 86, who was the first black member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, died in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday.

Dolly Parton and a string of celebrities took to Twitter to honor the musician.

“I feel so sad that one of my dear and old friends, Charlie Pride, is gone,” Barton wrote on Twitter.

“It’s even worse to know he died from Covid-19. What a horrible virus, Charlie, we’ll always love you.

“Rest in peace. My love and thoughts go to his family and all his fans.”

Braid released dozens of albums and sold more than 25 million records during his career that began in the mid-1960s.

Hitting beside Good morning angel kiss In 1971 AD Does anyone go to San AntonAnd the Burger and friesAnd the Mountain of loveAnd and Someone loves you honey.

Film director Ken Burns also took to Twitter to remember Pride.

“Charlie Pride was a pioneer whose great voice and kind spirit broke barriers in country music just as his hero Jackie Robinson did in baseball,” wrote Mr. Burns.

His last performance was his hit, Kiss of the good angel Mornin. Now he is one. “

“Charlie Pride will always be a legend in country music,” wrote Reba MacIntyre on Twitter.

“We will really miss him but he will always be remembered for his great music, great personality and big heart. My thoughts are with his wife Rosen and her family. RIP, Charlie.”

The Smithsonian in Washington acquired Pride mementos, including a pair of shoes and one of his guitars, from the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Until the early 1990s, when Cliff Francis came along, Braide was the only black singer to sign for a major brand.

In 1993, he joined the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

“They used to ask me how I feel like I’m the first country singer of color,” he told the Dallas Morning News in 1992.

“Then he was the“ first Negro country singer ”; then“ the first black country singer. ”Now I’m“ the first African-American singer. ”This is about the only thing that has changed. This country is very race conscious, so it eats colors and dyes. I call it“ stop ” Skin – it’s a disease.

Pride grew up in Sledge, Mississippi, the son of a farmer. He had seven brothers and three sisters.

As a young man before starting his singing career, he was an archer and defender in the Native American League with the Memphis Red Sox and in the Major League Soccer in Montana.

After experimenting with the New York Mets, he visited Nashville and broke into country music when Chet Atkins, president of RCA Records, heard two of his demo tapes and signed on.

Throughout his career, he sang positive songs instead of sad songs often associated with country music.

In 1994 he wrote an autobiography, Pride: The Charlie Pride StoryWhere he revealed that he is moderately depressed.

He underwent surgery in 1997 to remove a tumor from his right vocal cord.

He said in 1985: “I would like to be remembered as a good person who tried to be a good artist and make people happy, and was a good American who paid his taxes and made a good living.”

“I tried to do my best and contribute my role.”

He passed away from his wife Rosen, whom he married in 1956. Three children, Craig, Dion, and Angela; And many grandchildren.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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