Charley Pride's manager has assured fans the late country star did everything he could to avoid contracting COVID-19.

The Crystal Chandeliers hitmaker lost his battle with the virus on Saturday, prompting many devotees to suggest he picked up COVID at the 2020 CMA Awards, where he performed and accepted a Lifetime Achievement honour, but his manager has insisted that is not the case.

Kevin Bailey has no idea how Pride contracted the coronavirus but acknowledged the Country Music Association officials took every precaution, adding Pride, 86, tested negative on at least two occasions after the show on 11 November.

"This COVID thing, it’s impossible to know where it came from, where you got it," Bailey told the Dallas Morning News.

"My understanding is that when Charley went into the hospital, we thought he had pneumonia. Somebody decided to do another test, and then they put him in the COVID unit," he went on.

"Charley was the best of anybody I knew with staying isolated," Bailey recalled, "he and his wife were home all the time".

He explained: "Every time I went and had a meeting with him, we were both masked and sitting across the room from each other. Every precaution was taken."