Legendary singer/songwriter John Prine, writer of “Angel Of Montgomery,” “Sam Stone,” “Paradise,” and “Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore,” among many other classics, died Tuesday at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center at age 73, according to Rolling Stone. The cause was complications related to COVID-19.
Prine was hospitalized last month after displaying 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.
Prine was a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and was a recipient of the 2016 PEN New England Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence Award, an honor previously given to Leonard Cohen and Chuck Berry. Prine influenced Americana artists like Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, and Brandi Carilie, to name a few. He has been covered by Bonnie Raitt (“Angel From Montgomery”), George Strait, Johnny Cash, Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown and many others.
He had a great final act, with a nomination for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (he hasn’t yet been voted in), but was recently inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. His final album, 2018’s The Tree of Forgiveness, was his first album of original material in 13 years. It went to Number Five on the Billboard 200, the highest debut of his career, and he played some of his biggest shows ever on that tour, including a sold-out concert at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.