John Prine dead at 73 from coronavirus complications
Grammy-winning folk and country singer-songwriter John Prine died Tuesday from complications related to coronavirus, he was 73. He had been hospitalized March 26 and placed on a ventilator two days later.

His family tweeted news about his critical condition the following Sunday: “This is hard news for us to share. But so many of you have loved and supported John over the years, we wanted to let you know, and give you the chance to send out more of that love and support now. And know that we love you, and John loves you.”

His wife Fiona Whelan Prine, whom he married in 1996, said Monday that she had recovered from the virus but John was still in critical condition.

Born in the Chicago suburb of Maywood, Illinois, in 1946, Prine learned to play guitar from his older brother. At age 23, after serving in the Army during the Vietnam War, Prine was working as a mailman and playing his original songs at the Chicago folk club The Fifth Peg. Young journalist Roger Ebert dropped in one night and penned a stellar review for the Chicago Sun-Times, helping to launch Prine’s music career.

Kris Kristofferson, who became one of Prine’s earliest supporters and longtime friends, added him to a New York show that attracted label interest. Prine made his debut with a self-titled album in 1971.

Although the rootsy musician never scored a major hit of his own, he made several for others — the most well-known being “Angel From Montgomery,” recorded by Bonnie Raitt.

Well-known artists also covered several songs from Prine’s premiere album, including “Sam Stone” (recorded by Johnny Cash, John Fogerty and more), “Hello in There” (Joan Baez, Bette Midler, David Allan Coe) and “Paradise” (John Denver, among others).

Prine garnered praise from Bob Dylan, and countless other songs from across his 24 albums have been recorded by dozens of artists including Kristofferson, George Strait, Paul Westerberg, Norah Jones and Dwight Yoakam. That first self-titled record was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2014.