Renowned international singer Charley Pride has passed away aged 86 due to coronavirus.
Charley Pride was the first African-American to achieve the Country Music Hall of Fame. He rose to fame in the 1960s.
He was one of the biggest stars of country music during a period of division in the US.
He has also achieved three Grammy Awards as well as a lifetime achievement award.
Pride was born in 1934 and served in the army, played baseball, and worked in a smelting plant before later turning to music.
Fifty-two of his songs made it to the country Top 10. Some of the hit songs were All I Have to Offer You (Is Me) and Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’.
“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,” he wrote in his memoir.
Fellow singers have paid tribute to Charley Pride. Reba McEntire wrote, “Charley Pride will always be a legend in Country music.”
Billy Ray Cyrus, meanwhile, calling Pride a “gentleman… legend and true trailblazer”, adding, “He took down walls and barriers meant to divide.”
Country star Dolly Parton also tweeted about him.
Rest In Peace. My love and thoughts go out to his family and all of his fans. – Dolly (2/2)
— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) December 12, 2020