John Prine. Picture: Bang Showbiz
John Prine. Picture: Bang Showbiz

Legendary songwriter John Prine dies due to coronavirus

By Bang Showbiz Time of article published Apr 8, 2020

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Legendary songwriter John Prine has died aged 73 due to complications of coronavirus.

The legendary US songwriter passed away on Tuesday due to complications from coronavirus, after spending 13 days in intensive care at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee.

The Recording Academy said in a statement: "We join the world in mourning the passing of revered country and folk singer/songwriter John Prine.

"Widely lauded as one of the most influential songwriters of his generation, John's impact will continue to inspire musicians for years to come. We send our deepest condolences to his loved ones."

His wife and manager Fiona Whelan also had the virus - also known as COVID-19 - but she has since recovered.

John's songwriting skills were revered by the likes of Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, who praised him as a "true national treasure".

He wrote on Twitter: "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 loveliest guy in the world. A true national treasure and a songwriter for the ages. We send our love and prayers to his family. (sic)"

John - a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame - was discovered by Kris Kristofferson, who asked him to play a show for record label employees. He signed for Atlantic Records the next day, before releasing a debut self-titled album in 1971.

The folk and country singer was a double Grammy Award winner, and known for songs such as "Hello in There", "Sam Stone", "Paradise".

Throughout his life John battled and beat cancer twice. He was struck down with squamous cell cancer in the 1990s, and had lung cancer in 2013.

Johnny Cash once said he was up there with Guy Clark, Steve Goodman and Rodney Crowell as one of the "big four" of songwriting, and Dylan also praised his ability to pen a tune.

Speaking in 2009, he said: "Prine's stuff is pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mind trips to the nth degree. And he writes beautiful songs."

John released his 18th and final studio album, "The Tree of Forgiveness", in 2018.

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