John Prine, Legendary Songwriter, Dies from Coronavirus

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John Prine -- a legendary singer-songwriter best known for penning hit songs that chronicled the struggles and stories of everyday people and changed the face of modern American roots music, died Tuesday at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

He was 73 years old.

John Prine

Both Prine's publicist and various family members have confirmed the tragic news to different outlets and websites.

"Yes, we can confirm on behalf of the Prine family — John died today at Vanderbilt due to complications of Covid-19," said his publicist to CNN.

The beloved musician was hospitalized and intubated last month after a "sudden onset" of coronavirus symptoms, according to a family statement posted on his official Twitter account.

We've shared it here:

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"This is hard news for us to share," the message read.

"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 on more of that love and support now.

"And know that we love you, and John loves you."

Over the course of a five-decade long career, Prine influences such iconic artists as Bob Dylan and Kris Kristofferson.

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Among Prine's most remembered tracks: "Hello in There," "Sam Stone" and "Paradise."

He was also an author... actor... record-label owner... two-time Grammy winner... a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame... the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame... and the recipient of the 2016 PEN New England Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence Award.

And, as mentioned above, he was a continual source of inspiration for singers across all genres.

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Johnny Cash, in his memoir, named Prine as one of his four key songwriting inspirations.

Bob Dylan, in a 2009 interview, said the following:

"Prine's stuff is pure Proustian existentialism ... and he writes beautiful songs."

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"There's a huge hole in the music world tonight. John did it best," country singer Toby Keith wrote on Twitter in response to the songwriter's passing.

"He is singing with the angels," singer Sheryl Crow added on Twitter. "You will be missed but your songs will live on."

Prine released 12 albums and toured on a regular basis over the next two decades -- until a health scare almost ended his life.

In 1996, he was diagnosed with Stage 3 neck cancer, which required surgeons to remove a piece of his neck. The operation also severed nerves in his tongue and changed the tone of his voice.

He was unable to perform for over a year afterward.

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Over the ensuing years, Prine's singles have been covered by a wide range of artists, from Bonnie Raitt and Bette Midler to John Fogerty, the Zac Brown Band and My Morning Jacket.

In 2005, he became the first singer/songwriter to perform at the Library of Congress -- one of several literary honors for a songwriter whose best songs blended poetry with back-porch storytelling.

Prine's final album, 2018's "The Tree of Forgiveness," was nominated for a Grammy and opened at numer-five on the Billboard charts -- Prine's highest rank ever.

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We send our condolences to Prine's family members, friends and loved ones.

His influence on music as a whole will live on forever.

May John Prine rest in peace.

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