Nashville, Tenn. (December 13, 2020) — The country music community is mourning the loss of the legendary Charley Pride. The influential music icon passed away yesterday, December 12, due to complications of COVID-19. He was 86.

“Charley has been a longtime friend and over the years I have always enjoyed laughing and exchanging jokes with him. We will miss you.”  -Jeff Cook /  ALABAMA (Country Music Hall of Fame member) 

“Charley’s smile always lit up the room. His historic Hall of Fame career lit up an industry. Tonight I’m sure he’s still lightening them up… just a little higher up.” -Teddy Gentry / ALABAMA (Country Music Hall of Fame member) 

“He and Rozene are true friends of mine and Kelly’s. Our thoughts and prayers are with Rozene and his family. Heaven awaits my friend, Charley.”  -Randy Owen / ALABAMA (Country Music Hall of Fame member) 

“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 (Country Music Hall of Fame member) 

“Charley Pride was a longtime friend and great entertainer. I’ll miss him always calling me Ray Ragsdale and reminding me that I’m an Aquarius. RIP Charley, my friend.” -Ray Stevens (Country Music Hall of Fame member) 

“Charley Pride, a pioneer, a music man, a baseball player, a good friend and the love of Rozene’s life, has passed on. Without his encouragement when I was playing the Whiskey a Go-Go on the Sunset Strip in the ‘70s, I might have never made it to Nashville – and to hear this news tears out a piece of my heart. That he died of COVID makes me even sadder. These are such sad days with too much lose. Please, to everyone who’s ever loved ‘Kiss An Angel Good Morning,’ ‘Mountain of Love’ or ‘Is Anybody Goin’ To San Antone,’ wear a mask, wash your hands and be wise about gathering. We’ve lost too many, and I just want us all to be here to love each other and the music the way Charlie always did for years to come.” -Ronnie Milsap (Country Music Hall of Fame member)

“Our old and great friend Charley Pride was to country music what Jackie Robinson was to baseball. A great talent, a great American and a great man. We send our love and condolences to Rozene and the family.” -Larry, Steve & Rudy: The Gatlin Brothers

“I knew Charley and worked shows with him from the very earliest days of his career and found him to be a credit to our business. We will miss him. Our best thoughts to Rozene and family.” -Leroy Van Dyke

“I’m deeply saddened by the news today of Charley Pride’s passing. What a sad year for our industry. We have already lost so many friends and legends and now Charley. What a kind, sweet, considerate man. He always, and I mean always, went out of his way to be friendly, supportive, complimentary, genuine and very human to all of us ‘younger’ artists. He was an absolute joy to be around. As an artist? Wow. Blazed a huge trail with that resonant, warm, unmistakable voice and a countless stream of huge country hits that spanned decades. A true legend in every sense of the word. A true man in every sense of the word. I always enjoyed talking baseball with him. Honored beyond words to have shared the stage with him on occasion. My love and sympathy go out to his dear family. My heart also goes out to my good friend Neal McCoy on this day for I know how much Neal loved Charley. God be with you, Charley. Safe now in eternity. May we never forget the great Charley Pride.”  -Collin Raye

“Charley Pride broke down barriers for artists and fans of country music. He was an American icon and will be greatly missed around the world.” -John Anderson

“‘Is Anybody Goin to San Antone’ was the first song I ever sang when I started at 12 years old, 50 years ago, playing night clubs in southwest Louisiana. Gonna miss a wonderful and sweet man. It was a joy and honor to work with him last year. God bless you Charley and Rest in Peace.” -Sammy Kershaw

“Charley Pride was one of my very dear friends. On several occasions he shared with me the challenges that he faced as one of the few black men in our business that had huge success. And that made him very special in my book. Several years ago, Charley recorded a song of mine that I co-wrote with some friends. It became the title cut of his new album, Comfort of Her Wings. That for me was a dream come true. It’s hard to let go of someone so precious and such a dear friend. I already miss him. But I know that the Lord has a special place in the choir for him because there has never been a voice like Charley Pride’s. I’ll see you on the other side, my friend.” -Darryl Worley

“Charley Pride broke barriers that were extremely hard in his early years… not only to win over friends and confidants but also to bring us many years of musical perfection. Rest in Peace, Charley.” -Doug Gray / The Marshall Tucker Band

“My heart is heavy tonight to lose a great man and a great country stylist. Mr. Pride was always kind to me and he was full of life. A true country legend and gentleman. God rest his soul and bless his family in this time.” -Lorrie Morgan

“Charley Pride was not only a country music artist, he was a legend, a patriarch to what is Country Music. I loved Charley Pride. My condolences to Mrs. Rozene and the Pride family.” -Marty Raybon / Shenandoah

“Ever since I was a kid I’ve loved Charley Pride. And still to this day, anytime I see a road sign to San Antonio I can’t help but sing, ‘Is anybody goin to San Antone, or Phoenix Arizona.’  What a legacy of great songs he left us. Prayers to Rozene and his family. RIP Charley. You were a good one, buddy.” -Mike McGuire / Shenandoah

“My heart is broken over the passing of Charley Pride. Out of all of the songs I got cut as a songwriter I am most proud of the fact that Charley cut two of my songs. We have lost a gentle, sweet man and a music legend. Rest in Peace.” -Aaron Tippin

“Our music family lost another legend and one of the kindest souls ever. Our friend Charley Pride will be missed and prayers go out to the entire family. RIP brother Charley.” -Larry Stewart / Restless Heart

“Another profound loss not only for country music, but the entire creative world. Charley Pride was a trailblazer, tearing down stereotypes about who or what was country. Back in our early days of touring in the mid 80s, we heard Charley Pride on every truck stop jukebox in America. I’m so grateful he was recognized by the CMA shortly before his passing. Sending prayers of comfort to all who loved him and were inspired to break down barriers. Rest in peace Charley, your amazing voice is forever etched in our hearts.” -Dave Innis / Restless Heart

“Charley Pride was what you call one-of-a-kind in so many ways. That voice! It drew you into any song he sang and made you believe it was you singing it and living it. Most importantly, he was one of the most dignified gentlemen ever to be a part of the music scene, worldwide. And it rubbed off on so many. Our thoughts are with his family and close friends.” -Richard Young / The Kentucky Headhunters

“Charley Pride broke down cultural barriers to become the first black man to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. His voice, at times reminiscent of Hank Williams Sr., was a welcome addition to country radio and he brought a dignified performance personality to the music of rural America. The heart of this great man has forever changed the landscape of country music.” -Henry Paul / BlackHawk

“Charley Pride‘s voice and interpretation of country music transcended racial boundaries and southern prejudices. He opened the door for up-and-coming artists from different backgrounds to make it in country music, like my dear friend Neil McCoy, who I’m sure like me tonight is heartbroken.” -Billy Dean

“Charley was one of my best friends. He was my neighbor when we both lived in Branson. One of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. I will miss him very much.” -Moe Bandy 

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