Darius Rucker, who hosted the ceremony on Wednesday with Reba McEntire, said, “I remember saying to myself, ‘You can put up with whatever happens here because whatever happens to you is not going to be 1/10th, 1/100th of what Charley Pride went through” on podcast Color Me Country with Rissi Palmer. Rucker also stated, “And now, decades and decades later, to be part of him getting an award…There’s nobody that deserves it more than Charley. Nobody.”
Rucker is only the second Black host of the CMA Awards. Pride was the first, hosting the event with Glen Campbell in 1975.
When accepting the award, Pride thanked many people in his life saying, “And all my fans, I just wanted to say thank you. I’m through talking I guess, I’m just going to thank everybody again.”
Watch part of Pride’s acceptance speech below.