Charley Pride, the nation’s first Black country music superstar who was revered for his smash hit “Kiss an Angel Good Morning,” has died. He was 86.

A publicist for Pride said he died Saturday in a Dallas hospice from coronavirus-related complications, The New York Times reported.

Born into a sharecropping family in Mississippi, Pride grew up idolizing country music icons such as Roy Acuff and Ernest Tubb, CMT reported.

As Pride continued to embrace music from the Grand Ole Opry, it was at the request of singers Red Foley and Red Sovine who heard him singing a Hank Williams song that he headed to Nashville in 1962, according to CMT.

Pride, who purchased his first guitar from money earned picking cotton, was a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry.

Listed among his most notable accomplishments were 29 No. 1 hits as well as recognition in 1971 as CMA Entertainer of the Year.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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