American singer, guitarist, and professional baseball player Charley Pride has passed on.
Multiple reports say he passed on following complications from COVID-19.
He died on Saturday, December 12, 2020.
Charley rose to fame in the 1960s as a black singer in the world of country music.
He won the Country Music Association’s entertainer of the year award in 1971, just four years after his first hit records, the genre’s highest honour. He won three Grammy Awards, followed by a lifetime achievement award in 2017.
Charley Pride was born on March 18, 1934, in Sledge, Mississipi to Tessie Stewart Pride and Mack Pride Sr. he served in the Army before moving to Montana to try to make it as a baseball player. He worked at a smelting plant and played semiprofessional baseball in East Helena, where he was paid $10 to sing the national anthem before games, he told Montana Sports this year.
He began his recording career in 1963; two years later, he signed a contract with RCA Records, shuffling between Montana and Nashville before eventually relocating live full time in the hub of country music.
His “Just Between You and Me” record became a Top 10 hit on Billboard’s country music charts in 1967. Following this feat, he quit his smelting job. Fifty-two of his songs reached the country Top 10, including the hits All I Have to Offer You (Is Me) and Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’.
May his soul rest in peace!