John Prine, Legendary Singer-Songwriter, Dies From Coronavirus At 73
The legendary singer-songwriter John Prine died Tuesday from complications of the coronavirus at age 73.
Prine’s wife Fiona Prine, announced that she had tested positive for coronavirus on March 20. Six days later, Pine was also hospitalized and intubated shortly after. His family had to share the news over Twitter. On March 30, Fiona announced that her husband was stable but added, “that is not the same as improving… He needs our prayers and love.”
Prine has gone through multiple health issues over the years. The folk singer-songwriter underwent cancer surgery in 1998 to remove a tumor in his neck identified as squamous cell cancer, which had damaged his vocal cords. In 2013, he had part of one lung removed to treat lung cancer. He had been hospitalized since late last month.
As a songwriter, Prine was admired by Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson and others, known for his ability to explore ordinary experiences. for revelatory songs that covered the spectrum of the human experience. There’s “Hello in There,” about the devastating loneliness of an elderly couple; “Sam Stone,” a portrait of a drug-addicted Vietnam soldier suffering from PTSD; and “Paradise,” an ode to his parents’ strip-mined hometown of Paradise, Kentucky, which became an environmental anthem. Prine tackled these subjects with empathy and humor, with an eye for moments people don’t talk about.
Prine was also an author, actor, record-label owner, two-time Grammy winner, a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the recipient of the 2016 PEN New England Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence Award, an honor previously given to Leonard Cohen and Chuck Berry.