Pride, celebrated as country music's first Black superstar, passed in Dallas, Texas, they said.
Charley was a trailblazer in country - he's the very first Black artist to be inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame, and quite literally paved the way for other African-Americans in the genre through the '60s, '70s, '80s and beyond. Check back for updates. On the CMAs telecast, Pride crooned his million-selling crossover single "Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'" with Allen; this turned out to be his last public performance.
He played for the Memphis Red Sox and Birmingham Black Barons.
After playing minor league baseball a couple of years, he ended up in Helena, Montana, where he worked in a zinc smelting plant by day and played country music in nightclubs at night. Because his father scorned the roughness and ribaldry of blues music, Pride grew up listening to the Grand Ole Opry and idolizing such stars as Roy Acuff and Ernest Tubb.
Charley was nominated for a Song of the Year Grammy for the song - and after that, things truly started rolling for him.as he put out several chart-topping songs between the late '60s and mid-'70s, some of which reached #1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs and charted on the Billboard Hot 100 list too.
"My older sister one time said, 'Why are you singing THEIR music?'" Pride said.
In 2008 while accepting a Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the Mississippi Governor's Awards for Excellence in the Arts, Pride said he never focused on race.
Pride's Lifetime Achievement Award was presented during the November 11 CMA Awards ceremony by rising Black country star Jimmie Allen, who stated, "I might never had a career in country music if it wasn't for a groundbreaking artist who made the best kind of history". Upon hearing the news of the pioneering country artist's death, his fans and friends took to social media to grieve and pay tribute.
He is survived by his wife of over 60 years, Rozene Cohran, four siblings, three children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.