Chris Young closed the Dec. 12 edition of the Grand Ole Opry's weekly Saturday night broadcast with a cover of "Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'," the signature song of an icon who'd passed away that same day, Charley Pride.
"Sadly, today we learned of the passing of a true country icon, Mr. Charley Pride," Young said from the Opry House stage (around the 126:56 mark of the above video). "Country music has truly lost a legend and we'd like to honor him with one of his songs tonight."
Young and the Opry house band's rendition was true to the original version, as heard on Pride's 1971 album Charley Pride Sings Heart Songs. Ben Peters wrote what became Pride's only Top 40 pop hit.
Scotty McCreery also appeared on the Opry stage that night and dedicated "Five More Minutes" to Pride. The American Idol winner also shared a photo of himself with Pride and Bill Anderson on social media.
Rest in peace, Charley Pride. A true legend and trailblazer. pic.twitter.com/R84MH0J6uK
— Scotty McCreery (@ScottyMcCreery) December 13, 2020
"Charley Pride was a global icon in music, baseball and business," reads a statement from Quaid's publicist. "He broke barriers, unprecedented at the time, and made us all realize that we have more in common than our differences. Charley was a great American and a good Christian. Perhaps one of his greatest accomplishments is his more than 60-year marriage to his lovely, devoted partner in life, his wife Rozene. As one of the producers of the Charley Pride Story, I'll make sure his story is not unsung to the younger generation. While Charley has left this Earth, he is now singing in the Heavenly choir."
Pride passed away in Dallas from complications of COVID-19, just weeks after he accepted the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award in Nashville during this year's CMA Awards ceremony. Pride performed "Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'" that evening with Jimmie Allen.
The late country music legend became the first Black member of the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000 (he was joined in the rotunda by the Opry's first African American star, DeFord Bailey, in 2005). Pride, Bailey and Darius Rucker are the only Black Opry members in the program's 75-year history.
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