COVID-19 has stolen an American treasure. Folk/singer-songwriting legend John Prine died of complications from the virus at the age of 73, just as he was enjoying the overdue success of his brilliant career of folk-country songs.
Prine was in critical condition after the sudden onset of COVID-19 symptoms and was placed in intensive care for 13 days. Prine’s wife and manager, Fiona, announced on March 17th that she had tested positive for the virus after they had returned from a European tour.
Prine’s most recent album, 2018’s Tree of Forgiveness, was considered one of the year’s finest and another stellar chapter in his career that spanned from his 1971 self-titled debut onward. Prine placed 15 albums on the Billboard 200 chart since 1971 and influenced countless others and was a leader of the new Nashville sound.
Numerous artists covered Prine’s songs, including Johnny Cash (“Sam Stone”), Bette Midler (“Hello in There”) and Bonnie Raitt (“Angel From Montgomery”), as well as Zac Brown Band (“All the Best”), Miranda Lambert (“That’s the Way the World Goes Round”) and George Strait (“I Just Want to Dance with You”).
Prine placed 15 albums on the Billboard 200 chart since his self-titled debut arrived in February 1971. His two most recent works, though, earned key career milestones: 2016’s For Better, Or Worse, an album of duets featuring classic country songs, marked the veteran’s first top 40 success on the chart, while The Tree of Forgiveness secured his first top 10 album, reaching No. 5 in 2018.