Country, folk legend John Prine dies fighting coronavirus


Singer-songwriter John Prine died from complications related to COVID-19, his family said Tuesday night. He was 73.

The country-folk singer was being treated for the coronavirus at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, when he died, his family said.

His wife, Fiona, said last month that she had tested positive for COVID-19, and she has since recovered, but her husband was hospitalized March 26 with coronavirus symptoms. He was put on a ventilator and remained in intensive care for several days.

Prine said he was discovered by the late film critic Roger Ebert in Chicago. In 1970, Ebert wrote a glowing review of Prine in the Sun-Times newspaper, and his career went from delivering mail to writing lyrics Bob Dylan would call "pure Proustian existentialism."

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak He was a virtuoso of the soul, if not the body. Prine sang his conversational lyrics in a voice roughened by a hard-luck life, particularly after throat cancer left him with a disfigured jaw.

He joked that he fumbled so often on the guitar, taught to him as a teenager by his older brother, that people thought he was inventing a new style. But his openheartedness, eye for detail and sharp and surreal humor brought him the highest admiration from critics, from peers and from such younger stars as Jason Isbell and Kacey Musgraves, who even named a song after him.

Prine was particularly admired by his fellow singer-songwriters. Dylan called him one of his favorite songwriters, and Johnny Cash sai... (Read more)

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