Around eight months after Charley Pride died at age 86 due to COVID-19 complications, CMT will honor the late country music legend with the upcoming special CMT GIANTS: Charley Pride, which will celebrate Pride's "extraordinary life and legacy." The special will air Wednesday, Aug. 25 at 9 p.m. ET on CMT and will feature rare archival photos, interviews and performances with clips and commentary from Pride.
Performers include Alan Jackson, Darius Rucker, Pride's son Dion Pride, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Gladys Knight, Jimmie Allen, Lee Ann Womack, Luke Combs featuring Robert Randolph + Reyna Roberts, Mickey Guyton and Wynonna. Special guests Neal McCoy, Nolan Ryan, Reba, Ronnie Milsap and Pride’s wife, Rozene Pride, will also appear to share their personal memories and reflect on Charley’s lasting legacy.
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"It’s an incredibly great honor to celebrate Charley Pride’s career from the perspective of those who knew him best - his friends, family and peers," Margaret Comeaux, Executive Producer, CMT, said in a statement. "As a true ‘giant’ in country music, Charley serves as an inspiration for present and future artists, and his legendary career transcends barriers with music that stands the test of time."
Rozene shared, "I am delighted to have so many giants in the business celebrate the legacy of Pride. He would have been so happy to see the artists give so generously of their time and talent honoring him. This truly is a testament to the impact that he had on the country music community for so many years."
After attempting a career as a baseball player, Pride moved to Nashville, where he became country music's first Black superstar, earning 29 No. 1 songs, selling over 70 million records and winning numerous awards, including multiple Grammys.
He was named CMA Entertainer of the Year in 1971 and Male Vocalist of the Year in 1971 and 1972, becoming the first Black man to host the annual event when he did so alongside Glen Campbell in 1975. He became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1993 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000. In 2017, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Recording Academy and was given the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2020 CMA Awards.