Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter John Prine died on Tuesday (April 7th) at the age of 73 due to complications from coronavirus, according to NPR. Prine had been in intensive care for 13 days, and had tested positive for the virus shortly after returning from a European tour. Prine, who was among the many new songwriters in the early-1970’s dubbed the “New Dylan” — despite the fact that the “old” Bob Dylan was still a relatively young man.
Bruce Springsteen paid tribute to Prine in a statement, saying:
“Over here on E Street, we are crushed by the loss of John Prine. John and I were “New Dylans” together in the early 70s and he was never anything but the lovliest guy in the world. A true national treasure and a songwriter for the ages. We send our love and prayers to his family.”
Prine was born on October 10th, 1946 in Maywood, Illinois, and following a stint in the army in which he served in West Germany. Prine was discovered by Kris Kristofferson, who produced Prine’s self-titled debut on Atlantic Records. He was beloved by his loyal fanbase for his humor and convincing portraits of a wide and varied set of characters, and will perhaps be best remembered for his signature hit “Angel From Montgomery.”
Prine had battled health issues over the years, most notably a bout with cancer that took part of his neck, tongue, and damaged his salivary glands.
In 2018, Prine released The Tree Of Forgiveness, his first new album of original material in 13 years. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2019. That same year he made the shortlist for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — but just missed out on the final ballot.
Unlike some artists, who fight long and hard, cashing in industry favors and using their political clout to gain entry into the Songwriters and Rock Hall, John Prine was happy just to be considered. When we last caught up with him, he was both flattered and proud by being nominated for both Halls: [“I mean, they’re great. The Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, all those things are pretty darn neat just to get nominated for. There’s a lot of people that’ve been waiting years to get in. The nomination is good enough. Y’know, I haven’t been nominated before in those particular organizations.”] SOUNDCUE (:19 OC: . . . those particular organizations)
Over the years countless artists have covered John Prine’s songs — including John Fogerty, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, John Mellencamp, the Everly Brothers, R.E.M., John Denver, Carly Simon, Susan Tedeschi, Dwight Yoakum, Jackie DeShannon, Randy Travis, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Kim Carnes, the Highwaymen, Paul Anka, the Flying Burrito Brothers, the Spencer Davis Group, 10,000 Maniacs, Bette Midler, Paul Westerberg, Joan Baez, Kris Kristofferson, Bob Geldof, and Tammy Wynette, among many, many others.
- Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter John Prine died on Tuesday (April 7th) at the age of 73 due to complications from coronavirus.
- Prine had been in intensive care for 13 days, and had tested positive for the virus shortly after returning from a European tour.