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Charley Pride dies at 86 from the coronavirus

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  • Tip Bones

The first black country star, Charlie Pride, has died due to complications from COVID-19. He passed away Saturday, December 15th, at the age of 86 in hospice care with his wife, Rozene, by his side. Pride had recently been admitted to the ICU at a local hospital and this weekend things took a turn for the worst according to sources.

Pride smashed into the country music scene in the late '50s and early '60s. His singles started to become popular but it wasn't until 1967 when he released "Just Between You and Me" that his music began climbing the charts and he started to receive true recognition. Some going so far as to refer to him as the Jackie Robinson of country music. "Just between you and me" was nominated for a Grammy for Song of the Year and in the '60s and '70s several of his songs ended up on Billboard's Hot 100 list along with making it to the #1 spot on Billboard's Hot Country Songs. 

In his career, Pride received three Grammys and was honored with a Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020. In 2000 he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and is considered one of the most influential artists of any genre. Dolly Parton tweeted about his death saying, 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." She then added a part 2 to the tweet, following it up saying, "Rest In Peace. My love and thoughts go out to his family and all of his friends."

Pride is survived by his wife, their three children, and several grandchildren.