Singer-songwriter John Prine dies of COVID-19

John Prine arrives for the Grammy Awards  in Los Angeles on February 10, 2019. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
John Prine arrives for the Grammy Awards  in Los Angeles on February 10, 2019. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

April 7 (UPI) -- John Prine, the Grammy Award-winning introspective singer-songwriter of "Same Stone" and other folk and country classics, died Tuesday at age 73 due to complications from the coronavirus, his family said.

Prine died while receiving care for COVID-19 at Nashville's Vanderbilt University Medical Center, his family confirmed to Rolling Stone.


He was hospitalized on March 26 and was intubated days later in critical condition, his family said in a statement published on Prine's official Facebook page. On Friday, his family said he was suffering from pneumonia and other "peripheral issues" that were being treated with antibiotics and other medications.

"He is very ill and yet I remain hopeful that he can continue to fight this devastating virus and come home where we can care for him," the Prine family said.

Fiona Prine, John's wife, announced on her Instagram page mid-March that she had tested positive for the virus while her husband's test had come back as "indeterminate," explaining there was a chance that he didn't have the virus.

"We are quarantined and isolated from each other and members of the family," she said. "It's hard, I won't lie, but it's absolutely important."


His coronavirus diagnosis follows decades of medical challenges. In 1997, John Prine was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma cancer in his neck that was removed in January 1998. In 2013, he underwent surgery for lung cancer.

Stars including Kris Kristofferson and Bob Dylan counted themselves among his fans, and even the legendary Johnny Cash performed a cover of his 1971 song "Sam Stone."

Among many accolades, John Prine was named Americana Music's artist of the year for 2005 and he was awarded the Grammys' 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award.

American country singer-songwriter Margo Rae Price said she was "gutted" to hear news of his death.

"It hurts so bad to read the news," she wrote on Twitter. "My hero is gone. My friend is gone. We'll love you forever, John Prine."

Notable deaths of 2020

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Richard "Dick" Thornburgh, former attorney general of the United States and former governor of Pennsylvania, takes a seat at the witness hearing after U.S. Chief Justice nominee Judge John Roberts testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on September 15, 2005. Thornburgh died on December 31 at age 88. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

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