Saturday, June 15, 2024

UPDATED: Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen Mourn Beloved Singer Songwriter John Prine, Dead at Age 73 After Magnificent Career Renaissance


UPDATE 11:27PM Bonnie Raitt writes on Twitter: “Words can’t even come close. I’m crushed by the loss of my dear friend, John. My heart and love go out to Fiona and all the family. For all of us whose hearts are breaking, we will keep singing his songs and holding him near.

Bruce Springsteen: Over here on E Street, 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. We send our love and prayers to his family.


I’m so sad to report that John Prine has succumbed to coronavirus at age 73. He had such a magnificent renaisssance in the last couple of years, this is a cruel way to go out.

Condolences to his wife Fiona, his family, and friends.

For years John laid low and had a cult following, and was not much in the public eye. But his return over the last two years with a great new album, “Tree of Forgiveness,” won him new fans, reactivated old fans, and brought him awards and accolades.

John’s hundreds of songs included two that will stand out forever: “Angel from Montgomery” and “Hello in There.” He won two Grammy Awards and was nominated for 9 more.

Wikipedia notes that during 2005 at the request of U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, John Prine became the first singer/songwriter to read and perform at the Library of Congress.

Most people became aware of John when Bette Midler included “Hello in There” on her debut album that year, “The Divine Miss M.” Here she is:

So many people have recorded “Angel from Montgomery” besides John, but I always think of Bonnie Raitt as the main cover artist. Carly Simon included a great one on her box set. Here’s Bonnie:

And here’s John with Emmylou Harris:

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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