Luke Combs paid homage to the late Charley Pride during the star-studded CMT Giants: Charley Pride special, which aired on Wednesday evening (Aug. 25).
Ahead of his performance, Combs recalled the impact Pride has had in country music, noting that his showmanship has truly inspired him as an entertainer.
“Discovering Charley Pride unlocks the magic of why the great country songs last forever,” Combs said before performing the iconic hit. “Nobody could sing a song like Charley or hold an audience in the palm of his hand the way he could. Now and forever he’s an inspiration to me as an entertainer. If you’ve ever been in a room at a party or sitting at a bar when this song plays, but you may not know it, you’re continuing to spread the power of his legacy just by singing along.”
“Giants of people like Charley that inspire so many people to just do what’s in your heart,” Randolph added.
Joined by country newcomer Reyna Roberts on piano and one of Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest guitarists of all time Robert Randolph on lap peddle steel, Combs performed Pride’s iconic hit “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’.”
“Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'” was written by Ben Peters, and released in October 1971 as the first single from Pride’s 1971 album, Charley Pride Sings Heart Songs. The song has since become Pride’s signature hit and his eighth chart-topping single on the country charts.
"Kiss An Angel Good Morning" was Charley Pride's biggest hit, so we had to bring in a trio for this one. Luke Combs, Robert Randolph & Reyna Roberts, y'all did that 🙌 ❤️ pic.twitter.com/XWUCWaYOzb
— CMT (@CMT) August 26, 2021
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, Garth Brooks, 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.