Born as Charley Frank Pride in Mississippi on March 18, 1934, he was raised by Mack Pride Sr and Tessie Stewart Pride. At the age of 14, he bought his first guitar and learned to play it by himself by listening to the radio. Pride was a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry, where, in 1967, he became the first African American to sing at the venue. With three Grammy Awards in his kitty, he had at least 43 No.1 country singles and multiple albums.
When he last appeared on November 11 during the CMA, he gave his very last performance to all his fans, as he sang ‘Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’ at Nashville’s Music City Center with Jimmie Allen, a modern-day hitmaker who counts Pride among his heroes.
Pride’s hard work’s impact is seen in Black country performers today, including Darius Rucker, Jimmie Allen, Mickey Guyton, Rissi Palmer, Rhiannon Giddens, Yola and others. And Pride continued the legacy of DeFord Bailey, the first African American to perform music at the Grand Ole Opry. Did you know Pride was also an athlete? He played for the Negro American League from 1952 through 1958 becoming an all-star player in 1956. As thousands pay tribute to the artiste, here’s a look at his beautiful love story.