“We’re not color blind yet, but we’ve advanced a few paces along the path and I like to think I’ve contributed something to that process.”
(CNN)Country music legend Charley Pride died Saturday at age 86, a representative for the singer announced.
Pride died in Dallas of complications from Covid-19, the release said.
Born on March 18, 1934, in Sledge, Mississippi, the singer was a sharecropper’s son who rose to become country music’s first black superstar.
His baritone voice was featured on more than 50 Top 10 country hits and he was the first Black member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
He fell in love with the genre while listening to Grand Ole Opry radio shows in his youth.
But his first swing at professional success came when he played Negro League baseball at 16, eventually becoming an all-star player.
Pride sang in music clubs in his spare time but decided to make it a full-time endeavor after a failed tryout with the New York Mets.
Pride arrived in Nashville in 1963 and was eventually signed to RCA Records in 1965 by country guitarist and record executive Chet Atkins.
Between 1967 and 1987, Pride had 52 Top 10 country hits, won Grammy awards, and became RCA Records’ top-selling country artist, his representative said.
Pride’s early singles were released without mention of his race or a photo of him … Read more.