Country Stars Remember Charley Pride, Including Dolly, Reba, Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley, Luke Combs & More

Country Stars Remember Charley Pride, Including Dolly, Reba, Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley, Luke Combs & More

A number of country artists are paying tribute to Charley Pride, 86, who passed away on Dec. 12 in Dallas, Texas, due to complications from Covid-19.

Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Luke Combs, Jason Aldean and more shared their messages of love and remembrance via social media and statements.

Dolly Parton via Twitter: “I’m so heartbroken that one of my dearest and oldest friends, Charley Pride, has passed away. It’s even worse to know that he passed away from COVID-19. What a horrible, horrible virus. Charley, we will always love you. Rest In Peace. My love and thoughts go out to his family and all of his fans. – Dolly”

Reba McEntire via Twitter: “Charley Pride will always be a legend in Country music. He will truly be missed but will always be remembered for his great music, wonderful personality and his big heart. My thoughts are with his wife Rozene and their family. RIP, Charley.”

Jason Aldean via Twitter: “Just learning of the passing of another one of our legends in Country Music. I can’t imagine what this man went through as a Black Country Music artist trying to break into this business, but what a career he had. RIP Mr. Charley Pride.”

Luke Combs via Twitter: “I had the pleasure of meeting Charley Pride when I was playing the @opry. I was in awe of his presence and his talent. So saddened by the news of his passing. He was a true legend and trailblazer. His impact on our genre and generations of artists will never be forgotten. Rip”

Chris Young via Twitter: “I had the honor of meeting Charley Pride several times over the years… absolutely gutted to hear of his passing #RIP”

Oak Ridge Boys via Twitter: “So very sad today #RIPCharleyPride

Travis Tritt via Twitter: “I’m so sad to learn that Charley Pride has passed away at the age of 86. Charley opened doors for so many artists and I was proud to record with him and to know him as my friend. He will be sorely missed, but his music will live on forever. Deepest condolences to his family.”

Brad Paisley via Instagram: “The most generous, kind, trailblazing man has left us. I met Charley Pride when I was 15. He gave his home phone number to my dad, and said “I’d love to help your son.” And help he did. I am so blessed to have had so many memories with him. I’m devastated.
You changed country music for the better, Charley. And you changed this kid’s life. We love you. #charleypride”

Sara Evans via Twitter: “RIP Charlie Pride. Country music lost one of the greats. Prayers for his family.”

Billy Ray Cyrus via Twitter: “The last time I spoke to my good friend and legend Charley Pride. We met in ‘92 playing shows together in Australia. His beloved sweetheart Rosie by his side. A gentleman… legend and true trail blazer. With much respect #RIP”

Martina McBride via Twitter: “So saddened to hear about the passing of Charley Pride. Prayers for his wife Rozene and his family.”

Terri Clark via Twitter: “Charley Pride’s “Greatest Hits“ record was on a loop in my childhood home. His was the first live concert I ever attended. Charley Pride, thank you for breaking down walls and lifting up hearts. You will be sorely missed.”

Chris Janson via Twitter: “Saddened to hear the news that legendary Charley Pride has died. My heart breaks as 2020 gets worse. #RIP @opry family.”

Phil Vassar via Twitter: “Charley Pride was truly a ground-breaker in country music. He was an amazing singer and an incredible human being. He will be greatly missed.”

Darius Rucker on Twitter: “My heart is so heavy. Charley Pride was an icon a legend and any other word u wanna use for his greatness. He destroyed Barriers and did things that no one had ever done. But today I’m thinking of my friend. Heaven just got one of the finest people I know. I miss and love u CP!

Bill Anderson via statement: “Like the rest of the world, I am shocked and saddened to learn about the death of Charley Pride. He and I went back to the early days of his career in 1966 when he made his first nationwide appearance as a guest on my syndicated television show. In later years, we toured together, shared music and argued baseball endlessly. I saw firsthand some of his early struggles as the first black performer in country music. My admiration for the way he handled himself during those years knows no bounds. I’ve lost a hero and a friend.”

Tanya Tucker via statement: “It’s such a sad day saying so long to Charley Pride. I’m just so thankful that I got to sing a song with him. That’s where this picture was taken. It’s supposed to be on his next album. I also narrated his ‘I’ll Be Me’ documentary. I’m so thankful for that and my heart, my love, my soul… everything goes out to Rozene and the entire Pride family because we are the biggest fans of Charley. The world is lost today. He’s one of the greatest singers of all time. We love you Charley.”

Crystal Gayle via statement: “Charley Pride has been a cornerstone of country music and a wonderful part of my life for so long. I loved his music before I came to Nashville and I loved Charley as soon as I met him. I always looked forward to working with Charley and I will always miss his warm smile, kind words, and beautiful heart.”

Lee Greenwood via statement: “Charley Pride was a dear friend and truly one of the sweetest men in the music business. I was privileged to be his opening act when I first came to town. He treated everyone with respect and kindness. I’m in shock and so sad because I lost a good friend, the music business lost an incredible artist and the world lost an amazing citizen.”

Jeannie Seely via statement: “My friendship with Charley goes back to his very first tour with Willie Nelson that I was privileged to be a part of also. As big as his voice was, his personality was even bigger… and his heart was even bigger than that. He loved jokes, loved stories, loved to laugh…. and loved us. I will miss all of this. He’s leaving us some wonderful memories. My heart goes out to Rozene’, his family, his Opry family and his many friends and fans.”

Jeff Cook via statement: “Charley has been a longtime friend and over the years I have always enjoyed laughing and exchanging jokes with him. We will miss you.”

Teddy Gentry via statement: “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.”

Randy Owen via statement: “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.”

Ricky Skaggs via statement: “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.”
Ray Stevens via statement: “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.”

Ronnie Milsap via statement: “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.

Larry, Steve and Rudy Gatlin via statement: “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.”

Leroy Van Dyke via statement: “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.”

Collin Raye via statement: “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.”

John Anderson via statement:”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.”

Sammy Kershaw via statement: “‘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.”

Darryl Worley via statement: “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.”

Doug Gray via statement: “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.”

Lorrie Morgan via statement: “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.”

Marty Raybon via statement: “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.”

Mike McGuire via statement: “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.”

Aaron Tippin via statement: “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.”

Larry Stewart via statement: “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.”

Dave Innis via statement: “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.

Richard Young via statement: “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.”

Henry Paul via statement: “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.”

Billy Dean via statement: “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.”

Moe Bandy via statement: “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.”

photo by The Country Daily

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Garth Brooks – One of the 5 Honorees for Kennedy Center Honors 2021

Garth Brooks – One of the 5 Honorees for Kennedy Center Honors 2021

Congrats to Garth Brooks — he’s been named as one of the honorees for the 43rd Kennedy Center Honors. Along with Garth, the lifetime achievements of Debbie AllenJoan BaezMidori and Dick Van Dyke will be celebrated. When he learned of the honor, Garth shared, “I’m humble. I’m proud. I’m all the good things.”

The Kennedy Center Honors will air June 6 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.

Photo Credit: Becky Fluke