John Prine has solidified himself as one of the best songwriters and artists in the industry. He captivated the world through his first album in 1971. Since then, he has consistently displayed excellence in storytelling in all his songs.
Prine also garnered several awards under his belt. These include two Grammy Awards, Lifetime Achievement Award, 2019 inductee to the Song Writers Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and a recipient of the PEN New England Lyrics Award. His songs were also recorded by numerous country-music legends including Johnny Cash, Miranda Lambert and many more.
Over time, John Prine climbed to the rank of legends, thanks to a show that he did in New York City where Kris Kristofferson invited him. This was where the late Roger Ebert discovered Prine whom he quoted as an “extraordinary new composer.”
Prine then grew into one of the most prestigious songwriters in the industry. Prine said that his inspiration for the songs he wrote was based on other people. His songs portrayed common people’s worldviews and real-life problems that anyone could relate to. His hit song, “Sam Stone”, was one great example.
Prine’s humor and imagination also played a humble role in his rise as a songwriter. Among them were the escape to the countryside tune, “Spanish Pipe Dream” and “Dear Abby” which was about a columnist who got tired of hearing from whiners and hypochondriacs. “Illegal Smile” caused a stir of controversy when people assumed that it’s about marijuana. Prine, however, denied the assumptions.
Artists from all around the industry also got hooked to Prine’s songs. Among the known names who did covers for his songs were Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, John Denver, the Everly Brothers, Carly Simson, George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Noah Jones, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Bette Midler did a cover of his song “Hello in There.”
Illness didn’t stop John Prine from making music. In 2013, after surviving throat cancer, he was diagnosed with an unrelated and operable form of lung cancer. But Prine fought through it and recovered. During the recent stages of Prine’s career, he was often sharing the stage with DeMent and other young artists. He also had a playful style in his blues song “When I Get to Heaven” from his 2018 album, “The Tree of Forgiveness.”
At the news of Prine’s passing, famous country artists who were fans of his music extended their sorrow and condolences to Prine’s family through social media. See what they had to say below.
“No. It’s Just too much to lose John. I Just Can’t…. My love is with the Prine family. We all mourn now. This is devastating. Absolutely devastating. A lose we can’t comprehend.”
– Ashley McBryde
“The great John Prine has passed away from the virus. He showed me how to “let it rip” when it comes to songwriting. There’s a huge hole in the music world tonight. John did it best. RIP”
– Toby Keith
“It hurts so bad to read the news. I am gutted. My hero is gone. My friend is gone. We’ll love you forever John Prine.”
– Margo Price
“Rip to a wordsmith of a lifetime”
– Travis Denning
“The world just lost a legend. I can honestly say I’m honored to have existed on this planet at the same time as John Prine. Praying for his family and all his fans who’s hearts are breaking tonight.”
– Caleb Lee Hutchinson
“John and his family are some of the kindest souls you’ll ever meet. Praying for them and knowing that John’s music will love on forever.” Levi Hummon
“We love you John”
– Jason Isbell
“Thank you for everything. One and only”
– Miranda Lambert
Other artists like Travis Tritt and Josh Abbo expressed their praises by quoting Prine’s song.
“I strongly encourage all of you to listen to John Prine’s last album “The Tree of Forgiveness.” It’s fantastic. Legendary in my opinion.”
– Josh Abbo
“One of my favorite versions of this John Prine Classic– Angel From Montgomery ”
– Travis Tritt
More tweets and shout outs will come. The scoop here is that John Prine’s impact and music will remain long after he is gone.