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John Prine Dies of COVID-19 at 73

Singer/songwriter John Prine passed away today (4/7) from complications of coronavirus (COVID-19). He was 73. In a career spanning almost 50 years, the Songwriters Hall of Famer was nominated for 11 Grammy Awards and won two: The Missing Years was named Best Contemporary Folk Album in 1992 and Fair & Square took home Best Contemporary Folk Album in 2006. He’s penned and performed songs including “Sam Stone,” “Angel From Montgomery,” “Paradise,” “Hello In There,” “Illegal Smile,” “That’s The Way The World Goes ‘Round,” “Lake Marie,” “Fish And Whistle,” “Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness,” “In Spite of Ourselves” and “I Just Want To Dance With You.”

Born in 1946 in suburban Chicago, Prine’s music career began in the late ’60s singing at open mic events at the Fifth Peg folk club, where he received his first rave review from Chicago Sun-Times movie critic Roger Ebert. After Kris Kristofferson gave him a spot at a show in New York – where he attracted record company interest – Prine released his 1971 self-titled debut album, which was later enshrined in the Grammy Hall of Fame. The project yielded “Sam Stone” (recorded by the likes of Johnny Cash), “Hello in There” (Bette Midler), “Angel from Montgomery” (Bonnie Raitt) and “Paradise” (John Denver). Prine co-founded Nashville’s longest operating indie label, Oh Boy Records, in 1981. He was named Artist of the Year by the Americana Music Association in 2017. In 2018, he released The Tree of Forgiveness, his first album of new songs since 2005. It earned three Grammy nominations: Americana Album and two American Roots Song entries. His songs have been covered by artists including Zac Brown Band, David Allan Coe, Carly Simon, Norah Jones, Miranda Lambert and George Strait, and he has replicated Kristofferson’s kindness by having young singer/songwriters like Jason Isbell, Margo Price and Sturgill Simpson open his concerts
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