Speed Reads

Rest in peace

Singer-songwriter John Prine dies of COVID-19 complications

Singer-songwriter John Prine, the Grammy Award-winning country and folk legend who inspired Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson, died Tuesday in Nashville from complications of the COVID-19 coronavirus, his family said. He was 73.

Prine, a two-time cancer survivor, was hospitalized in March after testing positive for the virus, and was put on a ventilator.

Prine got his start in music while working as a mailman in Illinois. He would sing at open-mic nights, and in 1970, Roger Ebert caught one of his performances and gave him a rave review in the Chicago Sun-Times. Prine credited Ebert with getting his music career going, and he went on to release a dozen albums over five decades.

Dubbed "the Mark Twain of American songwriting" by Rolling Stone, Prine in 2005 became the first singer-songwriter to perform at the Library of Congress, and earlier this year, he was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the Grammys.