CMT to Honor Charley Pride With Upcoming Special

Country music legend Charley Pride died on Saturday, Dec. 12, and he will be honored with a special on CMT on Wednesday, Dec. 16. CMT Remembers Charley Pride will air at 8 p.m. ET on CMT and will feature three decades of interviews and commentary from Pride along with archival footage of his greatest hits and most memorable performances.

In addition, the special will include appearances and footage from Pride's friends, colleagues and admirers, including Darius Rucker, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Tim McGraw, Shania Twain and more. Several of his family members including his wife Rozene, son Dion, sister Maxine and his brother Joe will also be featured. In addition to its first airing, the special will receive two encore presentations on Thursday, Dec. 17 at 9 a.m. ET and Saturday, Dec. 19 at 12 p.m. ET.

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Pride died at age 86 due to complications from COVID-19 one month after giving his last performance at the CMA Awards, where he was given the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award . Pride was born to sharecroppers in Mississippi, and after attempting a career as a baseball player, he found his way to Nashville where he became country music's first Black superstar.

Known for hits like "Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'" and "Just Between You and Me," Pride was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 1993 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000. He also earned numerous other accolades including multiple Grammy Awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Recording Academy, and a CMA Entertainer of the Year win in 1971.

After Pride's death, a number of stars used social media to remember him, including Rucker, who wrote on Instagram that his "heart is so heavy." "Charley Pride was an icon, a legend and any other word you wanna use for his greatness," he shared. "He destroyed barriers and did things that no one had ever done. But today I'm thinking of my friend. Heaven just got one of the finest people I know."

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McGraw called Pride "the nicest man, generous of heart and spirit." "Musically he will always be a legend and one of the country greats," he captioned a slideshow of photos. "As a man, he'll always be an inspiration. He worked hard no matter what obstacle he faced and his willingness to break down racial barriers changed our world for the better."

Lynn wrote that Pride's death was "heartbreaking." "I truly loved my friend, Charley Pride," she shared. "The world will never be the same. He was one of the very best things that ever happened to country music. I'm all tears tonight."