Forget Album of the Year, Best Music Video, or even Entertainer of the Year — when it comes to award shows, it’s often the unsung heroes that are the most memorable. At this year’s CMA Awards, while there were many impressive performances and speeches, it would appear that Twitter has declared Charley Pride the official winner of the entire award show. Watchers of the show have absolutely fallen in love with the performer’s humble acceptance of the 2020 Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award. While making his speech, Pride kept repeating how nervous he was, while casually accepting a literal lifetime achievement award. “Well, you might not believe but I’m nervous as can be,” he said as he pulled out a crumpled up piece of paper with notes on it. “All the people have been influenced by my life, what my life has been influenced by, I got to say something about some of them” (via People).
Currently trending number 10 on Twitter — which, by the way, is higher than anyone else from the night — some of the best tweets about the performer include, “Imagine having 29 number one hits and still being humble enough that you tremble nervously as you give a thank you speech” (via Twitter). And another fan posted: “Watching Charley Pride be so excited and real on the #CMAawards was one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while. Absolute legend.”
Charley Pride has paved the way for Black country artists everywhere
It should come as no surprise that Pride is the recipient of this prodigious award, as his career has been incredibly inspiring. In addition to pursuing professional baseball and basketball at a young age, before he was a trailblazing musician, he was in the army. He eventually pivoted his career towards country music when Jack Johnson — a friend of his whom he made sure to thank in his acceptance speech — helped Pride produce a few recordings. Johnson has actively been searching for a talented Black country singer, Charley Pride’s official site. Despite being born into poverty, Pride managed to reinvent himself as one of the most iconic country singers of all time.
Perhaps one of the most memorable moments of the entire evening was when young country artist Jimmie Allen performed a duet on stage with Pride. Allen presented the lifetime achievement award to Pride and expressed how special it was to be presenting such an award to a Black icon.
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