Garth Brooks; Photo Courtesy of John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT
Garth Brooks; Photo Courtesy of John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT

Garth Brooks Tributes The Late Charley Pride With Heartfelt Performance: “Charley Was An Inspiration To Me”

Garth Brooks honored the late Charley Pride during the star-studded CMT Giants: Charley Pride special, which aired on Wednesday evening (Aug. 25). 

The country superstar praised Pride, his career and his brand of entertainment which he dubbed “timeless.”

“Charley Pride was a winner. There was nothing that he couldn’t do, and everything that he did do, he did very well. He sang songs that spoke to people’s hearts, while opening their minds. As an entertainer, artist and all around great human being, Charley was an inspiration to me and everyone else. Thank you, Charley, I love you pal. Thanks for everything.”

“Alexa, play Charley Pride and three hours later, you’ll still be hearing hits,” Brooks added.

Brooks gave an energy-filled performance of the country icon’s 1978 hit “When I Stop Leaving (I’ll Be Gone)” during the televised special.

“When I Stop Leaving (I’ll Be Gone)” is a song written by Kent Robbins that Pride released in May 1978 as the first single from his album, Burgers and Fries/When I Stop Leaving (I’ll Be Gone). The song peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.

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, Luke Combs, George Strait, Gladys Knight, Jimmie Allen, Lee Ann Womack, Darius Rucker, 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.

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