Charley Pride CMAs COVID-19

After Country Music Hall of Famer Charley Pride died of COVID-19 on Saturday, many questions were raised about the country star’s performance at the Country Music Association Awards (CMAs) last month.

As tributes pour in for the “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'” singer, the CMA’s denied responsibility in Pride’s death.

Charley Pride Performs At 2020 Country Music Awards

Charley got tremendous applause when he performed at last month’s CMAs.

After the cause of his death was announced, singer Maren Morris took aim at the CMAs for possibly contributing to him contracting coronavirus. 

“I don’t want to jump to conclusions because no family statement has been made, but if this was a result of the CMAs being indoors, we should all be outraged. Rest in power, Charley,” Morris said in a now deleted tweet.

Many others wondered the same. Charley had a very public performance shortly before falling ill.

This forced the CMAs to announce that he was tested before and after his performance to ensure his safety.

Statement on behalf of the CMA and representatives of Charley Pride

Everyone affiliated with the CMA Awards followed strict testing protocols outlined by the city health department and unions. Charley was tested prior to traveling to Nashville. He was tested upon landing in Nashville, and again on show day, with all tests coming back negative. After returning to Texas following the CMA Awards, Charley again tested negative multiple times. All of us in the Country Music community are heartbroken by Charley’s passing. Out of respect for his family during their grieving period, we will not be commenting on this further.

Baseball & Country Music

Charley Pride

The 86-year-old country singer lived a storied life.

Born the son of a sharecropper, Charley served our nation in the Army, was a professional baseball player, and became the first Black country music star.

His career spanned five decades and he topped the charts 29 times, winning the hearts of country music fans.  

RELATED: Only Lifelong Country Fans Will Recognize This Charley Pride Song!

Pride’s  baseball career bounced between the Negro leagues and the major league farm teams as a pitcher.

In 1956, Pride was selected to be on the Negro American League all-star team. He was drafted into the Army that same year. Despite being an accomplished baseball player, his dream was always to be a Country music singer. 

“I was gonna go to the major leagues and break all the records there and set new ones,” Pride once said. “By the time I was 35 or 36, then I was gonna go sing. That’s what my plan was.”

This death is yet another blow to Country music this year. COVID-19 has claimed Joe Diffie,  John Prine, and now Charley Pride.

RELATED: Country Music Stars Mourn Legend John Prine After He Loses His Battle With Coronavirus

Friends And Fans Hit Hard By Loss Of Charley Pride To COVID-19

This loss hit Country stars and fans hard. Charley broke through barriers, but to his fellow singers he was also a good friend.

Loretta Lynn tweeted a tribute to him saying he was one of the best things to happen to Country music and the world will never be the same. 

George Strait also called Pride a friend and recognized him as someone who welcomed him to the stage as Strait began his career.

Rest In Peace Charley Pride

Whether he got coronavirus at the CMAs or not, Country music has a big void with the loss of Charley Pride. This virus has turned our year upside down and unfortunately it has cost us Charley Pride.

You can watch the video of Charley singing “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'” at the CMAs just last month in the video below. 

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