2020: Charley Pride dies due to COVID-19 in a year marked by the pandemic


Terry Wyatt // Getty Images for CMA

Charley Pride charted the course for Black musicians in country music, a genre that historically and contemporarily is overwhelmingly white. He was the first Black performer inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and one of only three Black members of the Grand Ole Opry. His death due to complications of COVID-19 raised questions about the country music world’s response to the pandemic, considering the Country Music Association Awards—where Pride accepted a lifetime achievement award the month before his death—was one of the only awards shows held in-person, and several country music stars held concerts despite posing safety risks.