John Prine In Critical Condition Due to COVID-19 Symptoms

Photo: Danny Clinch

Songwriting legend John Prine is currently in critical condition in the hospital, and is hooked up to a ventilator after suffering from Coronavirus symptoms. The news comes after John Prine’s wife, Fiona Whelan Prine, tested positive for the Coronavirus in mid March, and had been in quarantine and isolated from John, and recovering from the illness. At the time of his wife’s positive test, John Prine also received a test, but it came back indeterminate.

“After a sudden onset of COVID-19 symptoms, John was hospitalized on Thursday (3/26),” the family said in a statement. “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 more of that love and support now. And know that we love you, and John loves you.”

At 73-years-old with underlying health conditions, John Prine fits the profile of an individual who should be concerned about COVID-19. John Prine is a survivor of squamous cell Cancer, which he was diagnosed with in 1998. Then in 2013, Prine was diagnosed with Cancer in his left lung and underwent surgery to remove it. Over the last couple of years, John Prine has cancelled numerous appearances due to health issues.

John Prine set historic numbers for the release of his 2018 album The Tree of Forgiveness—his first album of original material in 13 years. He also won the Americana Artist of the Year in both 2017 and 2018, won both the Americana Song of the Year and Album of the Year in 2019, and has been enjoying a resurgence in popularity as younger artists embrace him as a songwriting pioneer and legend. Prine was also nominated for consideration by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018, speaking to the 72-year-old songwriter’s wide influence. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Grammys in early 2020.

John Prine joins a growing list of musical celebrities affected by the Coronavirus. Jackson Browne, and multi-instrumentalist Larry Campbell have also both contracted the virus. And on Sunday, it was announced that 90’s country star Joe Diffie had died due to complications from COVID-19.

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