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Joseph LlanesLegendary country trailblazer Charley Pride is set to be honored at this year’s CMA Awards ceremony with the 2020 Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award.

The new accolade comes in recognition of Pride’s life’s work as a trailblazer in music and beyond. As country music’s first Black superstar, Pride has notched over 50 top-ten hits and 29 chart-topping songs over the course of his career, including 1971’s “Kiss an Angel Good Morning” and 1970’s “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone.”

Pride was also the first Black man to co-host the CMA Awards, which he did in 1975 alongside Glen Campbell. He was named the awards show’s Entertainer of the Year in 1971.

“Charley Pride is the epitome of a trailblazer,” comments CMA chief executive officer Sarah Trahern. “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.”

The Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award is dedicated to honoring artists who have achieved “both national and international prominence and stature through concert performances, humanitarian efforts, philanthropy, record sales and public representation at the highest level,” according to the CMA.

Pride joins a small, illustrious group of honorees. Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and Kris Kristofferson have all taken home the honor in years past.

The 2020 CMA Awards will take place on November 11. The show will broadcast live from Nashville on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.

By Carena Liptak
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