Charley Pride, Country Music’s First Black Superstar, Dies at 86

Charley Delight, a son of sharecroppers who rose to grow to be nation music’s first Black celebrity with hits together with “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’” and “Is Anyone Goin’ to San Antone,” died on Saturday in hospice care in Dallas. He was 86.

Jeremy Westby, a publicist for Mr. Delight, stated the trigger was problems of Covid-19.

Mr. Delight was not the primary Black artist to file nation music, however none of his predecessors had wherever close to the diploma of success he loved. In 1971, simply 4 years after his first hit information, he received the Nation Music Affiliation’s entertainer of the yr award — the style’s highest honor.

Mr. Delight was born on March 18, 1934, in Sledge, Miss., to Tessie Stewart Delight and Mack Delight Sr. He served within the Military earlier than working at a smelting plant and attempting to make it as a baseball participant.

In 1963, he went to Nashville and started his recording profession. In 1965, he signed a contract with RCA Information.

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Two years later, his recording of “Simply Between You and Me” became a Top 10 hit on Billboard’s country music charts. Solely then did he stop his smelting job.

Final month in Nashville, Mr. Delight obtained the Nation Music Affiliation’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which was introduced to him by Jimmie Allen, a younger Black nation star. It was his final public efficiency.

Organizers of the occasion stated they had been “following all protocols” for coping with Covid-19, however some in attendance weren’t sporting masks.

Within the 20 years after his 1967 breakout hit, 51 extra of Mr. Delight’s information reached the nation High 10, opening doorways for different Black nation music stars like Darius Rucker, who co-hosted this yr’s CMA Awards. “No individual of shade had ever achieved what he has achieved,” Mr. Rucker stated in a 2019 PBS documentary about Mr. Delight.

Mr. Delight himself wrote in his memoir, “Delight: The Charley Delight Story” (1994), “We’re not colorblind but, however we’ve superior a number of paces alongside the trail and I wish to suppose I’ve contributed one thing to that course of.”

He’s survived by his spouse, Ebby Rozene Cohran Delight, and his youngsters, Carlton, Charles and Angela.

An entire obituary is forthcoming.

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