Legendary folk singer-songwriter John Prine has passed away today after suffering from complications caused by the coronavirus, which placed him in a “critical situation” over a week ago. The performer passed away at the age of 73.
“This is hard news for us to share,” Prine’s family said in a statement sent to Pitchfork. “But so many of you have loved and supported John over the years, we wanted to let you know, and give you the chance to send on more of that love and support now. And know that we love you, and that John loves you.”
Prine was born in Illinois in 1946, before joining the military and eventually becoming a part of the burgeoning folk scene in Chicago during the late 1960s and early 1970s. He released his self-titled debut album in 1971, which was spearheaded by songs such as “Angel from Montgomery” and “Paradise.”
His latter career also saw a variety of successes, as he won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album for his 1992 album The Missing Years. He won the award once again for his 2005 album Fair & Square, which discussed his battle with squamous cell cancer in 1998. His touring and recording career continued well into the 2010s, with his most recent studio album The Tree of Forgiveness seeing its release in 2018.
The performer suffered some other health complications prior to his COVID-19 diagnosis. During the last year he was forced to cancel two different sets of tour due to a surgery and a nagging hip injury respectively. His recent COVID-19 diagnosis saw widespread tributes from across the entertainment world, by musicians such as the iconic folk performer Joan Baez and late night television host Stephen Colbert.
UPDATE (4/8): Prine’s wife Fiona recently made a statement on Facebook, as she discussed being there during the performer’s final hours. She encourages fans to donate to thistlefarms.org, roomintheinn.org and nashvillerescuemission.org in support of her late husband.
Read the full statement below:
Our beloved John died yesterday evening at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville TN. We have no words to describe the grief our family is experiencing at this time. John was the love of my life and adored by our sons Jody, Jack and Tommy, daughter in law Fanny, and by our grandchildren.
John contracted Covid-19 and in spite of the incredible skill and care of his medical team at Vanderbilt he could not overcome the damage this virus inflicted on his body.
I sat with John – who was deeply sedated- in the hours before he passed and will be forever grateful for that opportunity.
My dearest wish is that people of all ages take this virus seriously and follow guidelines set by the CDC. We send our condolences and love to the thousands of other American families who are grieving the loss of loved ones at this time – and to so many other families across the world.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the outpouring of love we have received from family, friends, and fans all over the world. John will be so missed but he will continue to comfort us with his words and music and the gifts of kindness, humor and love he left for all of us to share.
In lieu of flowers or gifts at this time we would ask that a donation be made to one of the following non profits: