Charley Pride, the first Black member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, has died of complications of the novel coronavirus. He was 86.
The singer passed away on Saturday, Dec. 12. His spokesperson announced the news in a statement. He did not specify where Charley contracted the virus.
“Charley Pride, whose rich baritone voice and impeccable song-sense altered American culture, died Saturday, December 12, 2020, in Dallas, Texas of complications from Covid-19 at age 86,” the spokesperson’s statement said.
Fatefully, Charley died just a month after giving his final onstage performance. He sang “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'” with Jimmie Allen at the 2020 CMA Awards at Nashville’s Music City Center, where he also received the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award.
Also known for songs such as “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone” and “Mountain of Love,” Charley won the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year award in 1971 and the organization’s male vocalist prize in 1971 and 1972. By the end of the ’70s, Charley won three Grammy Awards. In 1993, he became the second African-American member of the Grand Ole Opry. In 2000, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and in 2017, he received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 2004, Charley suffered a major health scare. He underwent brain surgery to remove a subdural hematoma, or blood clot.