Charley Pride to Receive CMA Lifetime Achievement Award: He’s the ‘Epitome of a Trailblazer’

You can “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'” thanks to this news!

Charley Pride, 86, will accept the Country Music Association’s Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at the CMA Awards next month.

“Charley Pride is the epitome of a trailblazer,” said CMA CEO Sarah Trahern in a press release. “Few other artists have grown country music’s rich heritage and led to the advancement of Country Music around the world like Charley.”

“His distinctive voice has created a timeless legacy that continues to echo through the country community today,” she continued. “We could not be more excited to honor Charley with one of CMA’s highest accolades.”

The award — named after the “Highwayman” singer who received the honor in 2012 — is the most valued prize awarded by CMA and honors some of the biggest stars in country music. Last year, Kris Kristofferson took home the award. Before then, Dolly Parton received it in 2016, the late Johnny Cash and Kenny Rogers received the awards in 2015 and 2013, respectively.

Pride made history as country music’s first Black star. His music has hit No. 1 nearly 30 times and more than 50 of his songs have been in the top 10. Some of his classics include “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone,” “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'” and “All I Have to Offer You (Is Me).”

He took home the entertainer of the year award at the 1971 CMA Awards. He also won male vocalist of the year that year and in 1972. He was the first Black man to host the CMAs in 1975.

This year, the CMAs are set to be hosted by Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker.

“I’m thrilled to be back hosting the CMA Awards and even more thrilled that I get to share the stage with Darius Rucker,” McEntire said in a press release. “We’re looking forward to a night of celebrating great Country Music and hope you’ll tune in and watch!”

The CMA nominees were announced earlier this month with Miranda Lambert leading the pack with seven nominations, including the entertainer of the year category. Luke Combs, who’s also up for that award, is nominated six times.

The 54th Annual CMA Awards will air Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 8 pm ET on ABC.

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