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Country Great Charley Pride Marks 25 Years As Grand Ole Opry Member

The barrier-breaking star celebrates a quarter-century since his induction.

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Longtime country star Charley Pride performed at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry over the weekend to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his induction into the famous institution. The Opry’s flagship station 650 AM WSM staged a Country Pride Weekend in honour of the artist, who made his live debut at the Opry in 1967.

The singer, widely credited with breaking down social barriers as country’s first Afro-American star, is pictured above in his new Opry appearance; and, below, backstage with Opry executives and fellow star Crystal Gayle (photos by Rachael Black, courtesy of the Grand Ole Opry).

Left to right: Dan Rogers, director marketing, communication and artist initiatives, Grand Ole Opry; Charley Pride; Gina Keltner, senior talent manager, Grand Ole Opry; and Opry member Crystal Gayle.

Pride has also announced that he will perform at the 2018 CMA Fest on 8 June, at Nissan Stadium. He’ll share the stage with many of the biggest names on the modern-day country scene, including Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood and Old Dominion. Underwood, for her part, is due to mark ten years since her Opry induction with two shows this coming Friday (11 May).

Other artists scheduled for the Opry and Opry Country Classics during May are Trace Adkins, Bobby Bare, Terri Clark, Easton Corbin, Jordan Davis, Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers, Craig Morgan, Lorrie Morgan, Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker, Marty Stuart and Brett Young.

When Pride was inducted into the Opry in 1993, he reflected his early dream of baseball stardom by musing: “It’s as if I had made it in baseball and they came up to me and took me to Cooperstown and said, ‘This is where your plaque is going to be — beside Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron.”

Pride’s upcoming tour dates are as follows:

13 May: Opry le Daniel @ Millennium/ Derry, Northern Ireland
7 June: Charley Pride Fan Club Breakfast / Nashville, Tenn.
8 June: CMA Music Festival @ Nissan Stadium / Nashville, Tenn.
9 June: Ryman Auditorium / Nashville, Tenn.
16 June: Horseshoe Casino / Bossier City, La.
30 June: Cypress Bayou Casino / Charenton, La.
14 July: Renfro Valley Entertainment Center / Mt. Vernon, Ky.
15 September: Crystal Grand Music Theater / Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
28 September: Dosey Doe (The Big Barn) / The Woodlands, Texas
5 October: The Welk Resort Theatre / Branson, Mo.
26 October: The Welk Resort Theatre / Branson, Mo.
7 November: TCU Place / Saskatoon, SK
9 November: Conexus Arts Centre / Regina, SK
10 November: Club Regent Event Center / Winnipeg, MB

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