John Prine, one of country folk music’s most revered singer-songwriters, has died. Prine’s family announced a few weeks ago that the 73-year-old had contracted covid-19 and was hospitalized. On Tuesday, the New York Times reports, he died at a Nashville hospital of complications stemming from the virus.
Prine grew up in Chicago and began performing in the late 1960s, not long after the Bob Dylan folk boom changed the face of American music. He released his first self-titled album in the 1970s and racked up a long list of fans, including Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, and Dylan himself.
Over the course of his career, Prine released over a dozen albums and won two Grammy Awards; his songs have been performed by everyone from Dylan to Cash to Bonnie Raitt, to My Morning Jacket. Raitt and Prine’s recorded version of “Angel from Montgomery,” which Prine wrote, is one of Raitt’s best performances:
Prine was diagnosed with cancer in 1998 and again in 2013. He recovered both times and kept touring, releasing albums in 2016 and 2018.
His 2018 album, The Tree of Forgiveness, peaked on the U.S. charts at number 5, Prine’s best-ever ranking.
Prine leaves behind his wife, Fiona Whelan Prine, along two brothers, three children, several grandchildren, and a whole lot of beautiful music.