American treasure John Prine, who dominated country charts with a series of sleekly tailored hits in the 1970s and won four Grammys, has died. He was 73.
John Prine was in intensive care for 13 days at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee before dying on Tuesday. Prine’s family confirmed his death to several US media outlets.
His publicist confirmed Prine’s death, “Yes, we can confirm on behalf of the Prine family — John died today at Vanderbilt”
Friends, colleagues, and fans also took social media to express their sadness with the singer-songwriter’s death.
We join the world in mourning the passing of revered country and folk singer/songwriter John Prine,” the Recording Academy said in a written statement for Prine’s death. “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.”
Bruce Springsteen also took Twitter to express his grief with Prine’s death. The American singer wrote “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.”
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.— Bruce Springsteen (@springsteen) April 8, 2020
Before Prine’s death, his family announced last Match 30 that the 73-year-old singer-songwriter has been hospitalized on March 26 and has been intubated two days after.
“This is hard news for us to share. 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 John loves you,” the statement said.
This sad news prompted tribute and supportive posts on social media, both from Prine’s fans and friends. Musician Keb’ Mo’ dedicated an online performance of “I’m Telling You Now” to Prine on Twitter. He captioned the video with: “We are going through a time that reminds us not to take anything for granted. We tell people we love them. This one today goes out to @JohnPrineMusic as we pray for his healing.”
Joan Baez also posted a cover of Prine’s 1971 song Hello in There in tribute to the musician and his wife. Bette Midler also tweeted: “One of the loveliest people I was ever lucky enough to know. He is a genius and a huge soul. Pray for him.” Middler has covered Prine’s song, “Hello in There”.
John Prine’s wife, Fiona Prine, also shared in her Instagram stories some supportive posts from friends. She also posted the family’s statement in her account. She wrote: “Our beloved John. I am scared and sad and I am hopeful.”
John Prine began his career in Chicago in the late 1960s after learning guitar aged 14. He was a Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter who blessed the music world with his signature blend of country and folk music for almost 50 years. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2019. And just this year, he was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award. Without a doubt, Prine is one of the most influential in folk and country music
Prine’s one tough guy too. He had fought cancer, not only once but twice. In early 1988, he was diagnosed with squamous cell cancer on the right side of his neck. He had major surgery to remove a large amount of diseased tissue. And in 2013, Prine learned he had cancer in his left lung and underwent surgery to remove it. The surgeries affected his voice but Prine continued making music and scheduled tours. In fact, before the onset of the virus, Prine had shows scheduled in May and a summer tour planned.
The music industry and thousands of fans are absolutely grieving for the country star’s death. Everyone will miss his raspy-voice along with witty and insightful country-folk tunes. John Prine is survived by his wife, Fiona Whelan Prine, and his sons, Jack, Tommy and Jody Prine.