During the show, Strait expressed his gratitude for for his longtime friend and shared how he feels Pride’s legacy will live on.
“Charley and I were close friends for more than four decades,” Strait explained. “When you stand next to a giant, you stand taller, stand stronger and it makes you feel greater as a person. Charley was a master of his craft who made everyone and everything around him better. He set a standard that others wanted to follow that made country and America a better place and he had a damn good time doing it. Thank you, Charley. I miss you old friend.”
Strait went on to sing Pride’s chart-topping hit, “Is Anybody Goin To San Antone.” Released in 1970, the song was co-written by Glenn Martin and Dave Kirby and served as the lead single from Pride’s 10th studio album.
“I looked up to him,” shared Strait. “He was a superstar when I met him and I was just getting started. I just loved him as a person.”
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Charley Pride passed away on December 12, 2020. He celebrated over 50 years as a recording artist and had a lasting impact on the the music community. Pride was a member of the Grand Ole Opry, a three-time GRAMMY winner, Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award winner, a CMA and ACM award winner and a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. He earned 36 No.1 singles throughout his career.
CMT Giants: Charley Pride also featured performances from Alan Jackson, Darius Rucker, Garth Brooks, Gladys Knight, Jimmie Allen, Lee Ann Womack, Luke Combs, Mickey Guyton, Wynonna Judd and Pride’s son Dion.
In addition to performances the show included interviews from family, friends and collaborators, including Neal McCoy, Nolan Ryan, Reba McEntire, Ronnie Milsap and Pride’s wife Rozene, who shared their personal memories while reflecting on Pride’s lasting legacy. The special also showcased rare archival photos, interviews and clips with commentary from the late Charley Pride.
The CMT special brought together Pride’s superstar friends and some of the biggest names in country music to celebrate his catalog of legendary hit songs.
CMT Giants: Charley Pride will air again for an encore performance on Sunday, August 29 at 12/11c on CMT.