Last week brought the sad news that country music star John Prine was in a very serious condition in hospital after contracting the coronavirus.
Sadly, the 73-year-old - whose wife Fiona is Irish and who had a home in Kinvara, Co. Galway - died from complications of the virus yesterday. He had developed pneumonia in both lungs and had been intubated in recent days.
Prine led a fascinating life, which saw him serve in the US army in West Germany during the Vietnam War era. Upon his return to the States, he was discovered by Kris Kristoffersson (although Prine himself credited film critic Roger Ebert with giving him hus big break) and began his recording career with a debut album in 1971.
In the latter part of his life he suffered several health problems, including cancer of the neck in the late 1990s and lung cancer in 2013, both of which he recovered from. His last Irish gig was at Dublin's National Concert Hall in 2018.
Prine was cited as as influence by a multitude of artists from various genres, and was known for his songs 'Speed of the Sound of Loneliness', 'Angel from Montgomery' and 'Sam Stone'.
He is survived by his wife Fiona and their three sons, Jody, Tommy and Jack.
Many fans and artists have been paying tribute to him on social media, some of which you can see below.
Over here on E Street, we are crushed by the loss of John Prine. John and I were "New Dylans" together in the early 70s and he was never anything but the lovliest guy in the world. A true national treasure and a songwriter for the ages. We send our love and prayers to his family.
— Bruce Springsteen (@springsteen) April 8, 2020
Today we lost John Prine and Hal Wilner. Two geniuses. The world got a little darker today. Blessings to their friends and families.
— Robbie Robertson (@r0bbier0berts0n) April 8, 2020
adam schlesinger, bill withers, and john prine in a week. what an awful, bewildering time.
— jason c. (@netw3rk) April 8, 2020
John Prine will live forever ❤️
— Crowmaster (@RustonKelly) April 8, 2020
Goodbye John Prine
— Ed Helms (@edhelms) April 8, 2020
— Anthony Mason (@AnthonyMasonCBS) April 8, 2020
— Marty Whelan (@martylyricfm) April 8, 2020
— Fiachna Ó Braonáin (@fobraonain) April 8, 2020
#JohnPrine: a great songwriter and advocate for his family’s roots in #Kentucky. I got to know of him when I was a young reporter there and his songs have stayed with me ever since. A sweet, gentle soul in music.
— howardfineman (@howardfineman) April 8, 2020
If anyone deserves to go to Paradise, it is #JohnPrine: "When I die let may ashes float down the Green River. Let my soul roll on up to the Rochester Dam. I'll be halfway to heaven with Paradise waiting just five miles away from wherever I am." Farewell John. Thank you, brother! pic.twitter.com/XBKuheL7MG
— Peter Corbett (@PeterCorbett1) April 8, 2020
For me, John Prine was the heart of Nashville, the reason I came to this city, my teacher, my songwriting hero, my friend. A brave truth-teller, who, with a wink and a grin, showed us who we are. We songwriters have… https://t.co/dV7bQVkRLU
— Mary Gauthier (@marygauthier_) April 8, 2020
I'd like to think that in the great Hereafter, Liam Clancy has just spotted #JohnPrine in a crowded tavern, beckoned him over, pulled up a chair and said to him: "Let's tell them all a story, John." RIP. https://t.co/wD8cc3S339
— Dermot Keyes (@DermotKeyes) April 8, 2020