Charley Pride’s son, Dion, is remembering and mourning his late father roughly eight months after his death.
The trailblazing country music legend, who amassed more than 50 top-10 hits between 1967 and 1987, and won several Grammy Awards, died at age 86 in December due to complications stemming from the coronavirus.
Speaking to People, Dion recalled sitting with his father in November of 2020 ahead of his appearance at the CMA Awards where he received the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award. It would end up being his final appearance. Dion recalls making future plans with his dad but noted that it ended up being the last time his dad was coherent before his death roughly a month later.
“It was hard because it was so sudden,” Dion explained. “I never saw him coherent again.”
Charley Pride’s son opened up about mourning his late dad ahead of the country music legend’s upcoming tribute special. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
Fortunately, Dion doesn’t have any unfinished business when it comes to his dad.
“But there was nothing I didn’t say to him that I wanted to. We always said what we felt every time we talked to each other,” he adds. “So that part is comforting, but it was hard being with him through that month while he was in hospice. That was the toughest part.”
Dion’s comments come ahead of the upcoming, star-studded tribute to his late father, “CMT GIANTS: Charley Pride.” The 90-minute special will air Wednesday on CMT and feature tribute performances to the country genre’s first Black superstar from celebrities like Garth Brooks, George Strait, Wynonna Judd, Mickey Guyton and Jimmie Allen.
“I was overwhelmed,” Dion told the outlet. “I didn’t know if we could get all of those people together in one place. I just don’t know how much that happens or how many times that’s going to happen again.”
“I don’t know if there are any words to really describe how powerful it was to see these people, with the stature of their careers and everything, come out of to honor my family and my dad,” he added.
While the songs and tributes to his dad were special to him, Dion also noted that hearing his dad tell stories in his own words was a very powerful experience for him as well.