John Prine, one of the most celebrated singer-songwriters in country, rock, and roots music, is currently hospitalized with symptoms related to COVID-19, according to a statement from his family.
A statement posted to social media read, “This is hard news for us to share. 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 more of that love and support now. And know that we love you, and John loves you.”
His wife and manager, Fiona Whelan Prine, revealed her coronavirus diagnosis on March 18.
Prine was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2019, as well as the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003. His most prominent cuts include Bonnie Raitt’s “Angel From Montgomery,” George Strait’s “I Just Want to Dance With You,” and Don Williams’ “Love Is on a Roll.”
His most recognizable composition — though he preferred to be uncredited — is the inescapable sing-along country classic, “You Never Even Called Me By My Name,” credited to Prine’s close friend and co-writer, Steve Goodman.
While actively recording since 1971, Prine has seen a number of modern country artists attracted to his songs. Miranda Lambert recorded “That’s the Way That the World Goes Round” for her Revolution album, while Zac Brown Band and Kacey Musgraves offered a collaboration of “All the Best.” Maren Morris and Brothers Osborne also reference Prine by name in her GIRL album cut, “All My Favorite People.”
As a recording artist, some of his best-loved songs include “Hello in There,” “Paradise,” “Sam Stone,” “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness,” “Sweet Revenge,” and “Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore.” He’s recorded a number of duets with female country artists such as Iris Dement (“In Spite of Ourselves”), Patty Loveless, Margo Price, and Trisha Yearwood.
Prine has been nominated for Grammys across five consecutive decades. First on the ballot in the category of Best New Artist of 1972, he finally won his first Grammy for his 1991 folk album, The Missing Years. He repeated in that category with 2005’s Fair and Square.
Prine has recorded for his own label, Oh Boy Records, since 1981, making it the second-oldest artist-owned independent record label in the country. He issued his latest album, The Tree of Forgiveness, in 2018.