NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Trailblazing country music legend Charley Pride was immortalized Wednesday with a bronze statue outside The Ryman Auditorium.
Pride joins Loretta Lynn, Bill Monroe and Little Jimmy Dickens as part of the Ryman’s Icon Walk.
The Ryman’s Icon Walk recognizes legends who have paved the way for Nashville performers, according to a release. The statues of Bill Monroe and Little Jimmy Dickens were added in 2017 as part of the Ryman’s 125th anniversary, with Lynn’s joining in 2020. The statues, all sculpted by artist Ben Watts, take one year to create.
Pride’s beloved wife of more than 60 years, Rozene Pride, and Charley’s son, Dion Pride, were on hand to witness the unveiling.
Pride was a recording artist for more than 50 years and a proud member of the Grand Ole Opry. He is credited with helping break the color barrier by becoming the first Black superstar of the genre.
He is best remembered for his crossover hit, “Kiss An Angel Good Morning,” which helped Pride land the Country Music Association’s “Entertainer of the Year” award in 1971 and the “Top Male Vocalist” awards of 1971 and 1972.
Pride died at the age of 86 on Dec. 12, 2020 from complications due to COVID-19.