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Country stars pay tribute to Charley Pride: "My heart is so heavy"

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ABCJimmie Allen, Dolly Parton and Carrie Underwood are among the many artists who turned to social media over the weekend to pay tribute to Charley Pride following the country legend’s death from complications due to COVID-19. 

Jimmie, who performed with Pride at the CMA Awards last month and presented him with the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award, shared a lengthy video reflecting on Pride’s impact on his life.

“He came into country music in a time where there was so much public hate toward people because of the color of their skin…It showed his courage. It showed his love and passion for music,” Jimmie says in a video titled “Rest in Love Mr. Pride,” citing Pride as a “hero,” “friend” and “grandfather” figure in his life. 

For her part, Dolly tweeted, “I’m so heartbroken that one of my dearest and oldest friends, Charley Pride, has passed away. It’s even worse to know that he passed away from COVID-19. What a horrible, horrible virus. Charley, we will always love you.”

Darius Rucker also expressed remorse in his online post, citing Pride as “one of the finest people I know.” He went on, “My heart is so heavy. Charley Pride was an icon a legend and any other word u wanna use for his greatness. He destroyed Barriers and did things that no one had ever done.”

Carrie also paid homage to the icon, calling him a “sweet and legendary man” who had a gift for remembering birthdays. “I don’t know how he remembered, but he always did…I’m so glad I got a few chances to be in the presence of Charley,” she said

According to a statement posted on Charley’s Facebook, the 86-year-old singer was hospitalized with COVID-19-type symptoms in late November. He passed away from complications from the virus on December 12. 

Here are some other country star reactions to Pride and his passing:

Luke Combs: “I was in awe of his presence and his talent.” 

Maren Morris: “Your voice. Your humility.” 

Tim McGraw: “Charley was just the nicest man, generous of heart and spirit.”

Keith Urban: “Peace and blessings to your beautiful soul Charley – and to all of your family.” 

Trisha Yearwood: “Charley Pride was a hero, and a trailblazer in country music.” 

Jason Aldean: “I grew up such a fan of his music and his voice and he will be greatly missed by all of us.”

Brothers Osborne: “A legends legend he was and will always be.” 

Brad Paisley: “The most generous, kind, trailblazing man has left us.”

By Cillea Houghton
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