The coronavirus continues its inroads into mortality by claiming more and more lives. Legendary singer and songwriter John Prine has been suffering the effects of COVID-19 since last Thursday. Currently he's in the hospital and the situation is critical. Prine, 73, has suffered through a couple of bouts of cancer, including in the late '90s and then in 2013 when he announced he had an operable "non-small cell carcinoma" in his left lung.
Prine's family announced Sunday on Twitter that he's suffering the effects of COVID-19. He's in the hospital, they said, in critical condition.
"After a sudden onset of COVID-19 symptoms, John was hospitalized on Thursday (3/26)," reads the announcement. "He was intubated Saturday evening, and continues to receive care, but his situation is critical. 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 on more of that love and support now. And know that we love you, and John loves you."
Prine's wife, Fiona Prine, announced earlier this month that she had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Prine has been active as a composer, recording artist, and live performer since the early 1970s, and is known for an often humorous style of country music that has elements of protest and social commentary. His songs have been recorded by iconic singers like Johnny Cash ("Sam Stone"), Bette Midler ("Hello in There") and Bonnie Raitt ("Angel from Montgomery"). He's an uncredited co-writer on the now-classic "You Never Even Call Me by My Name" and his songs have been cut by country stars like Zac Brown Band ("All the Best"), Miranda Lambert ("That's the Way the World Goes Round") and George Strait ("I Just Want to Dance with You"). A gem from The Tree of Forgiveness, "Boundless Love" is also ripe for the picking.
Prine won his first Grammy for the 1991 album, The Missing Years , and he joined the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003. The Grammy Hall of Fame inducted his 1971 self-titled debut album in 2014.
Two years later he accepted the PEN New England's Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence Award. At the age of 70, he was named Artist of the Year by the Americana Music Association in 2017. Naturally, The Tree of Forgiveness is rooted in that same observant songwriting that he's crafted throughout his career.