NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM/CNN) — Along with the sadness from learning country legend Charley Pride died from COVID-19 came outrage and questions about his performance at the CMA Awards one month before, where a vast majority were maskless and social distancing wasn’t always practiced.
In response the Country Music Association has outlined its COVID-19 testing procedure for its recent awards show.
Pride died in Dallas on December 12. He had performed at the 54th Annual CMA Awards in Nashville on November 11.
Some artists questioned if Pride might have become infected at the show. No audience was present, but nominees, performers, and invited guests were in attendance.
“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,” award-winner Maren Morris wrote in a now-deleted tweet.
Singer Mickey Guyton, a rising Black country singer from Arlington, Texas who said Pride ‘made it possible for me to have a career in country music’, tweeted — “We need answers as to how Charley Pride got COVID.”
We need answers as to how Charley Pride got covid.
— Mickey Guyton (@MickeyGuyton) December 12, 2020
“Everyone affiliated with the CMA Awards followed strict testing protocols outlined by the city health department and unions,” the CMA posted in a statement. The CMA said the statement was on behalf of Pride representatives, as well as the organization.
“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,” the statement went on to read. “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,” the statement concluded.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The CNN Wire™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company contributed to this report.)
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