The Country Music Association has spoken.
The country music community said goodbye to the great Charley Pride today, who passed away in Dallas after succumbing to complications from COVID-19. And while many artists have taken to social media express their condolences, share their memories, and honor the legacy of Charley, the conversation has now shifted to whether or not he contracted the virus at the CMA Awards on November 11th.
And while she definitely wasn’t alone in her speculations, a tweet from Maren Morris seemed to ignite a majority of the conversation:
“I don’t want to jump to conclusions because no family statement has been made, but if this was a result of the CMAs being indoors, we should all be outraged. Rest in power, Charley.”
Of course, Maren was also at the awards show herself, which many on Twitter were quick to point out.
However, the CMAs have now released a statement regarding Charley’s testing before, during, and after the event. The statement has been released on behalf of the CMA and representatives of Charley Pride:
“Everyone affiliated with the CMA Awards followed strict testing protocols outlined by the city health department and unions. Charley was tested prior to traveling to Nashville. He was tested upon landing in Nashville, and again on show day, with all tests coming back negative.
After returning to Texas following the CMA Awards, Charley again tested negative multiple times. All of us in the Country Music community are heartbroken by Charley’s passing. Out of respect for his family during their grieving period, we will not be commenting on this further.”
According to a Facebook post on Charley’s page, he was admitted to the hospital in late November, however, he was unable to overcome the virus and passed away today at the age of 86.