Charley Pride accepted the coveted lifetime achievement award at the 2020 Country Music Association Awards on Wednesday night.
“For all the people who have been affected by my life, my life has been affected, I have to say something to some of them.” Pride, 86, said in a thank-you speech, and then thanked Jack Clement. Many of them, well-known country music producers, engineers and songwriters, produced Pride’s first 13 RCA albums.
Pride was nominated as the CMA Artist of the Year in 1971 and was inducted into the CMA Hall of Fame in 2000. At the peak of his career (from 1966 to the 1980s), he was ranked in the top 10 on the Billboard Country song chart, 30 of which ranked first. Pride is one of the few black artists to win “Ole Opry”, the famous weekly country music event in Nashville.
On the occasion of the Pride Award, some black country artists said that they were ignored in terms of opportunities and recognition of their white counterparts. It was a proud moment to see his victory throughout the industry, and many people praised Pride for pioneering a country music path that black artists can follow.
Singer Jimmy Allen said that without “Pride,” he would not have himself, Darius Rucker, Kane Brown, Mickey Gaydon Guyton, Cowboy Troy or “any other black country artist on the road right now,” according to the Associated Press. Allen added that given that Pride’s achievements were won in the civil rights era and faced discrimination and obstacles at the same time, the achievements were even more significant.
Allen added “Pride” on the CMA stage, performing the veterans’ classic 1971 “Good Morning Kissing Angel”. After a heartfelt duet, Allen awarded his “hero” the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Thank you very much, I was able to perform with Charley Pride tonight,” Allen tweeted. “Tonight is really special to me.”
Allen discussed what this opportunity means to him in a video diary before the awards party.
In a separate interview, Allen talked in horror about the influence of Pride and other black country artists on his development.
“Country music enthusiast” Joshua Taylor said in a series of tweets: “For those who may not realize how great this achievement is: Charley Pride’s early album did not His picture. He first walked onto the stage in Detroit and cheered loudly, just to silence the crowd before realizing he was black. Once he made a joke and started singing, the applause returned.
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