Folk-country legend John Prine died today of complications related to Covid-19. The 73-year-old singer-songwriter had been hospitalized last month after showing symptoms of the coronavirus.
A prolific songwriter whose admirers included the likes of Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Roger Waters, Prine recorded 18 studio albums over a career than spanned nearly five decades.
On his final offering, 2018's The Tree Of Forgiveness, he shared some musings on death.
"When I get to heaven, I'm gonna' shake God's hand / Thank him for more blessings than one man can stand / Then I'm gonna' get a guitar and start a rock n' roll band / Check into a swell hotel / Ain't the afterlife grand?"
On the album's last track, Prine sings of reuniting with family members who preceded him in death and forgiving everyone who ever did him wrong.
In typical Prine fashion, however, he also finds time to sing of drinking cocktails, smoking cigarettes and kissing pretty girls, blending earnest emotions with humorous hedonism in a way only he could.
In the wake of Prine's death, a number of musicians have offered their condolences on Twitter:
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Covid-19 hit the music community pretty hard yesterday; The incomparable @JohnPrineMusic, and Hal Willner's also outta here. Both great guys, Fkn’ Archangels for American music. Some kids somewhere have some big shoes to fill... pic.twitter.com/rHZSSsxWiy— Bob Weir (@BobWeir) April 8, 2020
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
John Prine lives in all our hearts. pic.twitter.com/bgn9IeaxPS— Roger Waters (@rogerwaters) March 30, 2020