American folk and country singer John Prine, best known for his album The Tree of Forgiveness, has died due to complications from COVID-19. He was 73.
The singer was hospitalised on March 26 after suffering symptoms of the deadly virus and was reportedly in intensive care 13 days at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee.
Oh behalf of his family, his publicist confirmed his death to several US media outlets including Variety, The New York Times and Rolling Stone.
A statement was released that revealed he started showing symptoms of the deadly virus on March 17, and his health deteriorated in the days that followed.
He died on Tuesday 7 April.
He outdid his 2016 success with the 2018 hit The Tree of Forgiveness, which reached number five on the charts, by passing his album For Better, or Worse that featured Alison Krauss, Kacey Musgraves and Miranda Lambert, which reached number 30.
The singing sensation was born in Maywood, Illinois, and grew up playing guitar and singing as a hobby.
He worked as a mechanic in the US army, and rose to fame in the late-1960s after wowing the audience at an open-mic night.
After he was challenged by a performer to “do better”, the singing opportunity earned him a weekend residency.
His career flourished after he was given a boost by fellow singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson, who saw him play and helped him get signed to Atlantic Records.
Of his quick success, he said: “Luck has a good deal to do with it, luck and timing.
“But when the luck and timing comes along, you’ve got to have the goods.”
He suffered twice from cancer and in 1996 had to have part of his neck removed due to squamous cell carcinoma, which left him requiring speech therapy to be able to perform again.
In 2013, he developed lung cancer but recovered following surgery.
More recently, he had to postpone his 2019 tour dates after undergoing hip surgery.
Following news of his tragic death, many musical icons and fans alike have taken to social media to voice their sadness and share their condolences with his loved ones.
On Twitter, Bruce Springsteen wrote: “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 loveliest guy in the world. A true national treasure and a songwriter for the ages.”
Country singer Margo Price, also paid her tributes: “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.”
The Recording Academy made a statement: “We join the world in mourning the passing of revered country and folk singer/songwriter John Prine.
“Widely lauded as one of the most influential songwriters of his generation, John’s impact will continue to inspire musicians for years to come. We send our deepest condolences to his loved ones.”