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Folk Singer-Songwriter John Prine Dies at 73 From Virus Complications

Folk Singer-Songwriter John Prine Dies at 73 From Virus Complications

Singer John Prine performs at The Troubadour in Los Angeles in January. (Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

Tuesday, 07 April 2020 10:01 PM

John Prine, the ingenious singer-songwriter who explored the heartbreaks, indignities and absurdities of everyday life in “Angel from Montgomery,” “Sam Stone,” “Hello in There” and scores of other indelible tunes, died Tuesday at the age of 73.

His family announced his death from complications from the coronavirus.

Winner of a lifetime achievement Grammy earlier this year, Prine was a virtuoso of the soul, if not the body. He 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 open-heartedness, eye for detail and sharp and surreal humor brought him the highest admiration from critics, from such peers as Bob Dylan and Kris Kristofferson, and from such younger stars as Jason Isbell and Kacey Musgraves, who even named a song after him.

In 2017, Rolling Stone proclaimed him “The Mark Twain of American songwriting.”

Prine’s wife and manager, Fiona Whelan Prine, in March reported she had tested positive for the coronavirus. She said the couple were quarantined and isolated from each other.

Prine had twice fought cancer. Most recently, he was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2013 and had part of a lung removed. The surgeries affected his voice but Prine continued to make music and to tour.

Before the onset of the virus, Prine had shows scheduled in May and a summer tour planned.

COVID-19 is the disease caused by the new coronavirus. It can be especially dangerous for those of advanced age or with pre-existing conditions and respiratory vulnerabilities, like Prine.

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A representative for John Prine said the revered folk singer-songwriter died Tuesday from complications of the coronavirus at 73. Prine's wife and manager, Fiona Whelan Prine, in March reported she had tested positive for the coronavirus. She said the couple were quarantined...
virus, prine
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2020-01-07
Tuesday, 07 April 2020 10:01 PM
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