Grammy Winner And Music Legend John Prine Is Dead At 73 From Coronavirus

john prine the late show with stephen colbert screenshot

The coronavirus continues to impact the world despite efforts at social distancing and prevention, and now a music legend has died. Grammy winner and frequent late night guest John Prine has died due to COVID-19. He was 73-years-old at the time of his passing.

John Prine's death follows his hospitalization on Thursday, March 26. His family revealed that he was intubated on the evening of March 28 and continued to receive care. Despite the care, his situation was described as "critical" in a social media post on Sunday, March 29.

A publicist for the family of John Prine confirmed his death (via CNN) on April 7, saying this:

Yes, we can confirm on behalf of the Prine family — John died today at Vanderbilt due to complications of Covid-19.

Renowned as a country singer and songwriter, John Prine was nominated for 11 Grammys throughout the course of his career, going back as far as 1972 and with the latest nominations happening in 2018. Of those 11 nominations, Prine won twice. In both 1991 and 2005, he took home the golden gramophone for Best Contemporary Folk Album.

John Prine is also a familiar face to longtime viewers of the late night TV circuit, going back as far as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 1995. More recently, he appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. He also contributed to Saturday night Live very early in the show's run, serving as musical guest on SNL in 1976.

Interestingly, John Prine actually worked with Stephen Colbert on two separate series. He first appeared on Colbert's The Colbert Report while the comedian was still starring in his own Comedy Central Series, and then in 2016 and again in 2018 on The Late Show.

Stephen Colbert honored Prine during his April 1 episode of The Late Show (produced at Colbert's home) with a video of their 2016 duet:

The duet was filmed at the Ed Sullivan Theater, where The Late Show is produced, but never released on the late night show. The video was a fitting tribute to John Prine as a music legend and TV contributor.

In the wake of John Prine's passing, more celebrities have taken to social media to prove that he influenced a lot of people over his many years in music, including Bruce Springsteen:

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Bruce Springsteen was a musical peer of John Prine's in the 1970s, according to his tweet, and his tribute reflects what the music community lost in Prine.

A country music star shared his thoughts on Twitter as well:

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According to Toby Keith, he learned a lot about songwriting from John Prine, who was renowned for his work in country music.

Yet another musician joined the ranks of those remembering John Prine:

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Sheryl Crow's sentiment that John Prine's songs will live on is likely one that his fans are feeling in the wake of his passing, and his music catalogue is extensive enough that his influence may be felt for a long while yet.

Sadly, John Prine isn't the first or only celebrity who has died due to the coronavirus pandemic. While some, like Tom Hanks and Daniel Dae Kim, were able to make full recoveries, others weren't quite so fortunate. The Twilight Zone actor Forrest Compton died earlier this month, as did That Thing You Do songwriter Adam Schlesinger and memorable Jaws actress Lee Fierro, among others.

Our thoughts here at CinemaBlend are with the friends, family, and loved ones of John Prine in this difficult time.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.