Country singer-songwriter John Prine has died at the age of 73 due to complications from coronavirus.
Prine, who was awarded a lifetime achievement Grammy earlier this year, had been in a critical condition after contracting Covid-19.
He died on Tuesday at a hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, his management confirmed. The cause of death was complications from Covid-19.
Prine was admitted to hospital last month and spent 13 days in intensive care. His wife and manager, Donegal-born Fiona Whelan, confirmed that they had tested positive for coronavirus after returning from a European tour. They had been isolating separately.
Prine, who was one of the most influential figures in folk and country music, born in Maywood, Illinois, began playing the guitar at the age of 14. After returning from West Germany where he served in the US military, Prine moved to Chicago and focused on making music.
Speaking to Rolling Stone Prine played down his military service, describing his contribution as "drinking beer and pretending to fix trucks." But the experience inspired him to write the much-loved ballad Sam Stone.
Prine released his self-titled debut album in 1971 which kicked-off a career that spanned more than 50-years and he is best known for his lyrics about love, life and social commentary.
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Prine 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, an honour previously given to Leonard Cohen and Chuck Berry.
Prine fought cancer twice, most recently battling lung cancer in 2013. The surgeries affected his voice but he continued to make music and to tour.
Read Paddy Kehoe's review of John Prine's final album, The Tree of Forgiveness here
Rock star Bruce Springsteen, has paid tribute to a "true national treasure". He tweeted: "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."
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
Country music star Sheryl Crow said Prine's music would endure. She tweeted: "My heart hurts learning that John Prine has passed away. He is singing with the angels. You will be missed but your songs will live on."
My heart hurts learning that John Prine has passed away. He is singing with the angels. You will be missed but your songs will live on. ??— Sheryl Crow (@SherylCrow) April 8, 2020
Ryan Peake, from the band Nickelback, said on the group's Twitter account: "Sad news about John Prine. Amazing songwriter and musician. It's a big loss to the music industry. Bill Withers and John Prine in a week. Goddamn it."
Sad news about John Prine. Amazing songwriter and musician. It's a big loss to the music industry. Bill Withers and John Prine in a week. Goddamn it...-RP— Nickelback (@Nickelback) April 8, 2020
Fellow country music singer Margo Price has paid tribute to Prine. She tweeted: "It hurts so bad to read the news. I am gutted. My hero is gone. My friend is gone. We'll love you forever John Prine."
Oscar-winning filmmaker Taika Waititi said: "RIP John Prine. This sucks."
Actress Rosanna Arquette shared a playlist of Prine's music and wrote: "God bless you John Prine rest in power."