“The fact that he was a Black man in country music resonated with me more than any particular song.”
Advertisement
Mickey Guyton
Credit: John Shearer/CMT2020/Getty Images

As the world mourns the death of Charley Pride, Mickey Guyton is sharing her gratitude for the man who helped pave the way for her trailblazing career.

Pride, country music's first major Black star, died from complications from COVID-19 on Saturday at the age of 86.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Guyton shared just how much of an impact Pride's journey had on her own. And how much she feels she owes the late pioneer.

"Charley Pride means the world to me. His voice and his bravery made it possible for me to be able to have a career in country music," the songstress explained. "The fact that he was a Black man in country music resonated with me more than any particular song. His music moved people."

Listen to Southern Living's "Biscuits & Jam" podcast to hear interviews from Mickey Guyton, Dolly Parton, Darius Rucker, and more!

Guyton opens up about her experiences as a Black woman in America in her Grammy-nominated song, "Black Like Me." Like Pride before her, her presence in country music has pushed fans of the predominantly white genre to examine potential prejudices.

WATCH: 30 Quotes From Powerful Leaders To Celebrate Black History Month

Guyton told Rolling Stone that the best way to honor Pride's memory, is for people like her to continue to break barriers.

"Artists can further his legacy by daring to be seen and bravely taking risks," she said. "Continue to make music that moves people like Charley did."