After a handful of artists questioned if country legend Charley Pride, who died Saturday (Dec. 12) of COVID-19, could have been exposed at Nov. 11's CMA Awards, where he was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Nashville ceremony, the Country Music Association and representatives for Pride released a joint statement explaining the show and Pride's testing procedures.
"Everyone affiliated with the CMA Awards followed strict testing protocols outlined by the city health department and unions," the CMA wrote in a statement posted to its website late Saturday afternoon. "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."