John Prine, the US folk and country singer beloved of Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson and extra, has died aged 73 due to complications from Covid-19.
Prine was hospitalised on 26 March, and was in intensive look after 13 days earlier than dying on Tuesday, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee. Prine’s household confirmed his demise to a number of US media shops together with The New York Times, Rolling Stone and Variety.
“We join the world in mourning the passing of revered country and folk singer/songwriter John Prine,” the Recording Academy mentioned in a written assertion. “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.”
On Twitter, Bruce Springsteen 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.”
Prine was born and raised on the outskirts of Chicago, and, on both facet of a spell within the US military working as a mechanic in Germany, had a day job as a mail provider whereas enjoying guitar and writing songs as a pastime. At a Chicago open mic night time, he was heard complaining in regards to the lack of expertise on stage and was challenged to do higher by one of many performers; his rapturously acquired three-song set earned him a $1,000-a-weekend residency and allowed him to give up the postal service.
His profession was given a lift by Kristofferson, who noticed him play in Chicago. When Prine was visiting New York, Kristofferson invited him to play a gig for a room of record-label workers – Prine was signed to Atlantic Records the following morning. “Luck has a good deal to do with it, luck and timing,” he mentioned of his swift success. “But when the luck and timing comes along, you’ve got to have the goods.”
He launched his debut album in 1971, and put out 19 studio albums in all. While wider mainstream success eluded him for years, he earned a sizeable following, together with among the 20th century’s biggest songwriters. Bob Dylan mentioned in 2009: “Prine’s stuff is pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mind trips to the nth degree. And he writes beautiful songs.” Bonnie Raitt has celebrated his songwriting as “deceptively insightful. It’s at once playing on words and imagery, but expressing something deeper in such a succinct way, in such an exceptional way.”
Johnny Cash as soon as described him as one among his private “big four” songwriters alongside Guy Clark, Steve Goodman and Rodney Crowell, whereas ex-Pink Floyd member Roger Waters referred to as him “extraordinarily eloquent”.
Prine gained two Grammy awards from 11 nominations, and was additionally given a lifetime achievement award on the 2020 ceremony. In 2016 he recorded a duets album For Better, or Worse with singers together with Alison Krauss, Kacey Musgraves and Miranda Lambert, and grew to become his greatest chart hit then to date, reaching No 30. He outdid its success in 2018 with The Tree of Forgiveness, which reached No 5.
Prine twice suffered from most cancers. In 1996, he had a part of his neck eliminated due to squamous cell carcinoma, and required speech remedy to have the opportunity to carry out once more. In 2013, he had lung most cancers, and recovered following surgical procedure.
He had a small position within the 2001 Billy Bob Thornton-directed film Daddy and Them, and years earlier had met with Dustin Hoffman after a producer urged they work collectively on display regardless of Prine by no means having acted earlier than. “Finally, [Hoffman] said: ‘Well, how did you get here? And I said, ‘I don’t know. Maybe somebody boinked your secretary’. I never heard from him again,” Prine remembered in his 2015 biography.
In a tribute on Twitter, Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith wrote: “As if we didn’t have enough devastating news. The great John Prine has died and I am heartbroken. I always saw him as a sort of Mark Twain figure. A humorist but mainly a humanist. He could make you laugh one moment and rip your heart open in the next. He always very nice to me.”
Author Stephen King, actor Clancy Brown, comic Andy Richter and astronaut Chris Hadfield additionally paid homage on Twitter.