North Texas Country Music Community Reacts to Charley Pride's Death

Pride, 86, died from complications related to COVID-19 Saturday

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He'll go down in the history books for breaking barriers.

Born the son of sharecroppers, Charley Pride became country music's first Black superstar.

In his office at Billy Bob’s Texas, general manager Marty Travis said Pride's autographed albums are among his most prized.

He said the star, who died Saturday at 86, graced Billy Bob’s mainstage 10 times.

“Charley was one of the first guys to kind of knock the wall down, and it wasn't because he was African-American or Black," Travis said. "It was the fact that he was great."

In an interview just last month ahead of receiving a lifetime achievement award, Pride told NBC DFW he never set out to pave a new path.

Country music legend Charley Pride will be honored with the Country Music Association’s 2020 Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at what’s considered the biggest night in country music. NBC 5’s Deborah Ferguson reports that Pride, 86, just sees himself as a man who wanted to sing and play music.

“I didn't go into country music thinking about being a pioneer or anything like that. It just turned out to be something like that,” Pride said.

Still looking back on his legacy, Mark “Hawkye” Louis from New Country 96.3 FM said it’s a role Pride seemed to embrace.

“He was an example to so many folks and just helped out so many people. I think that's going to be his legacy is how he helped out people who came after him,” Louis said.

The Country Music Hall of Famer died Saturday in Texas from COVID-19 complications.
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