Facebook Twitter

Garth Brooks and Gladys Knight are honoring this country music legend. Here’s how to watch

A slew of artists are honoring Charley Pride, who died last year at 86 of complications from COVID-19

SHARE Garth Brooks and Gladys Knight are honoring this country music legend. Here’s how to watch
Garth Brooks performs during “CMT Giants: Charley Pride.”

Garth Brooks is one of several artists honoring country music legend Charley Pride in a special program airing on CMT Wednesday night.

John Shearer

He was “country music’s first Black superstar.”

Raised on a cotton farm in Sledge, Mississippi, Charley Pride used money from picking cotton to buy his first guitar when he was 14 in 1948, The New York Times reported. Pride entered the country music scene amid the racial division and tension of the 1960s, eventually finding groundbreaking success as he earned 29 No. 1 hits throughout his 50-plus-year career, according to Taste of Country.

More than four decades later, Darius Rucker would become he second Black singer to have a No. 1 country hit, The New York Times reported.

Now, a slew of artists — including Rucker, Garth Brooks, George Strait and Gladys Knight — are honoring Pride, who died last year at 86 from COVID-19 complications.

On Wednesday night, CMT is airing a 90-minute special that will celebrate the life and legacy of Pride, according to a news release sent to the Deseret News. The program will include special performances and interviews from a wide range of Pride’s family, friends and fellow musicians, as well as archived footage featuring Pride.

“I’m honored to be part of #CMTGiants: Charley Pride and celebrate the life and legacy of country music trailblazer Charley Pride,” Knight shared on Twitter Wednesday.

Knight also revealed a portion of her appearance on the program.

“There’s something in his voice ... it’s power and the sincerity,” she said in a clip from the program posted on Twitter. “I can see him walking down there to the Mississippi River. That’s how real he was.”

According to the news release, the following artists will perform throughout the program:

  • Alan Jackson
  • Darius Rucker
  • Dion Pride (Charley Pride’s son)
  • Garth Brooks
  • George Strait
  • Gladys Knight
  • Jimmie Allen
  • LeeAnn Womack
  • Luke Combs
  • Mickey Guyton
  • Wynonna

“CMT GIANTS: Charley Pride” will also feature special appearances from:

  • Neal McCoy
  • Nolan Ryan
  • Reba McEntire
  • Ronnie Milsap
  • Janie Fricke 
  • Rozene Pride (Charley Pride’s wife)

The program premieres Aug. 25 on CMT at 10 p.m. MT. There will be an encore showing on Aug. 29 at 11: 30 p.m. MT.