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Country Music Superstar Charley Pride Dies Of COVID-19 At Age 86

Charley Pride
Joseph Llanes
Charley Pride

Country music singer Charley Pride died Saturday from complications of COVID-19. He was 86.

Pride died in Dallas. His publicist confirmed his death in a statement.

Pride was born into a sharecropper family in Mississippi in 1934. He thought at first he would use his skill as a baseball player as a path to success but his singing talents took him further.

Pride served in the Army and then followed in the footsteps of DeFord Bailey, the country music star of the Grand Ole Opry from the 1920s to the 1940s.

Pride's big break came in the mid 1960s. By the 1970s, his talent made him country music's first Black superstar and the first Black member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

He was best known for the hits "Kiss An Angel Good Mornin" and "Is Anybody Going to San Antone?"

He won multiple Grammy awards and had 52 top 10 country hits.

The statement noted his final performance was on Nov. 11. He sang "Kiss An Angel Good Mornin" during the CMA Awards in Nashville.

He was survived by his wife, Ebby Rozene Cohran Pride, four siblings, three children, and five grandchildren.

The statement added that in lieu of flowers, Pride's family asked for fans to donate to a food bank or charity of their choice.

Jerry Clayton can be reached at jerry@tpr.org or on Twitter at @jerryclayton.