After 50 years as a recording artist, Charley Pride can add another feather to the cap of his Hall of Fame career: the Recording Academy will honor Charley with its 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award.
Charley, a three-time Grammy winner, is considered country music’s first African-American superstar. He signed to RCA Victor in 1967 and earned a string of No. 1 hits, including “All I Have to Offer You (Is Me),” “(I’m So) Afraid of Losing You Again,” “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’,” “Amazing Love” and many more.
Charley won the CMA’s Entertainer of the Year award in 1971 and Top Male Vocalist in 1971 and 1972. Charley was the first African-American to perform on the Grand Ole Opry stage and he became the Opry’s first African-American member in 1993.
The Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates performers who have made outstanding contributions of artistic significance to the field of recording. The recipients are determined by vote of the Recording Academy’s national board of trustees.
Other 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award winners include Jimmie Rogers, who is known as the “Father of Country Music,” as well as Shirley Caesar, Ahmad Jamal, Nina Simone, Sly Stone and the Velvet Underground.