On Tuesday evening, the world received the sobering news that legendary songwriter John Prine had passed away at the age of 73 due to complications from COVID-19.

John’s wife, Fiona Whelan Prine, confirmed his passing in a message posted to his social media accounts on Wednesday morning. It reads,

Our beloved John died yesterday evening at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville TN. We have no words to describe the grief our family is experiencing at this time. John was the love of my life and adored by our sons Jody, Jack and Tommy, daughter in law Fanny, and by our grandchildren.

John contracted Covid-19 and in spite of the incredible skill and care of his medical team at Vanderbilt he could not overcome the damage this virus inflicted on his body.

I sat with John – who was deeply sedated- in the hours before he passed and will be forever grateful for that opportunity.

My dearest wish is that people of all ages take this virus seriously and follow guidelines set by the CDC. We send our condolences and love to the thousands of other American families who are grieving the loss of loved ones at this time – and to so many other families across the world.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the outpouring of love we have received from family, friends, and fans all over the world. John will be so missed but he will continue to comfort us with his words and music and the gifts of kindness, humor and love he left for all of us to share.

In lieu of flowers or gifts at this time we would ask that a donation be made to one of the following non profits




Prine was widely considered to be among the greatest songwriters in American history. Among his fans was another such candidate, Bob Dylan, who once noted, “Prine’s stuff is pure Proustian existentialism, Midwestern mind-trips to the nth degree.”

In the hours since the initial news of John Prine’s death, countless artists and influential figures have weighed in to pay their respects to the late legend in words and song, from those who worked closely with him to those who were simply affected by his profound body of work. You can view a selection of those tributes to John Prine below:

Bonnie Raitt

Jason Isbell

Warren Haynes

[Via Facebook]: Wow! After losing Bill Withers a few days ago it’s really hard to accept the loss of another giant like John Prine. A lot of the superlatives I used for Bill apply equally to John though they were entirely different artists coming from entirely different worlds. John was a vessel of truth as well. In songwriting honesty is the greatest attribute. If a songwriter or a song can stir up emotions inside us that are undeniable then they have achieved their goal. It’s like they say about comedy- “only the truth is funny”. In songwriting- “only the truth can make you cry”.

When I was fifteen or sixteen my brother turned me on to the first John Prine record. To this day it remains, in my opinion, one of the greatest records by a singer-songwriter ever…..EVER! Although it had been out for a few years at that point and I was aware of how many of my older brothers’ hippie friends had it in their collections, I wasn’t ready to digest it till then. I was just starting to go down the beautiful rabbit-hole of singer song-writers and discovering the importance of folk influenced music when I heard this masterpiece. It completely floored me. After that I would discover the others (Bruised Orange and Sweet Revenge hit me hard as well) but the first album was so different than anything we’d ever heard. It blind-sided us the way only a first impression can. Songs like Paradise, Hello In There, Six O’Clock News, and Sam Stone which were among the heaviest songs I’d ever heard- were counter-balanced by the more poignantly humorous (but no less brilliant) gems like Donald and Lydia, Angel From Montgomery, Pretty Good, and Illegal Smile- and they were all on one album. This was also about the time I had started to sneak into the local folk club in Asheville. The drinking age at that time was still eighteen, but looking back I’m not sure how a fifteen year old managed to not get thrown out. Consequently, I was beginning to check out all the local folk heroes, all of which played their own songs with some favorites of the scene peppered into their sets. Each one worshipped at the altar of John Prine. I heard a lot of John’s songs for the first time being performed by these local singer-songwriters and would eventually wind up playing some alongside them. The first time I played on stage was in this club and it was experiences like this that played a big part in me becoming a “lifer”.

Fast forward a few years- I had the opportunity to see John Prine perform live for the first time in the auditorium at LSU in Baton Rouge. This was 1980 or 1981. I’ll never forget sitting in the audience- a packed house- when he played Sam Stone. One of the heaviest things I’ve ever witnessed was a few thousand people singing the chorus- “There’s a hole in daddy’s arm where all the money goes- Jesus Christ died for nothing I suppose”. I cried like a baby- one of many times I’ve cried while listening to a JP song.

For the last six months or so I had been listening to a lot of John Prine. No particular reason other than that it’s been a hard couple of years. I heard recently that someone was quoted as saying “listening to John Prine’s songs makes us better people”. Well, I know it made me a better person. It would do the whole world good to listen to a lot of John Prine right now.- WH 

Brandi Carlile

Jeff Tweedy

[Video: Matt Nickel]

Bob Weir

Jason Isbell


Stephen Hyden

Billy Strings

Susan Tedeschi

David Simon

The Marcus King Band

Carole King

Natalie Maines

Shooter Jennings

Bruce Springsteen

[Via SiriusXM E Street Radio]: Over here on E Street we are devastated by the loss of John Prine. Not only was he one of our country’s great songwriters, a real national treasure, a sweet and lovely man. I was proud to call him my friend. … He wrote music of towering compassion with an almost unheard of precision and creativity when it came to observing the fine details of ordinary lives. He was a writer of great humor, funny, with wry sensitivity. It has marked him as a complete original. … His death just makes me angry. He was simply one of the best we had, and we will miss him.

Bettye LaVette

Charlie Daniels

Yusuf (Cat Stevens)

Billy Ray Cyrus

Seth Meyers

Margo Price

Marc Maron

Lukas Nelson

[Video: Lukas Nelson]