The legendary folk/country singer John Prine tragically died from complications from COVID-19 on Tuesday, April 7. To honor the life of one of music’s most beloved artists, many musicians and Prine fans have been posting heartfelt tributes to the brilliant and lyrical singer-songwriter. Watch some of our favorites below.
On Wednesday, April 8, the day after Prine passed away, Brandi Carlile appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to perform a poignant tribute. Before singing “Hello in There,” a tune about love and loss, growing older and checking in one one another, Carlile said, “I think that this is a song that John would like me to sing because this song refers to the people that we’re all staying at home to protect and it reminds us that older people aren’t expendable, that they made us who we are and they’ve given us every single thing that we have.”
She added, “Even though John never got to get old and we would have liked for him to, at the age of 24 when he wrote this song, he understood this.”
In a brief yet deeply touching video tribute, Roger Waters sang Prine’s “Paradise.” Waters’ take on the song feels both celebratory and sorrowful.
In another segment on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Dave Matthews played a resonant and melancholy “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness” from his home.
Eric Church begins his tribute, which was posted the day after Prine died, by saying “We lost one of my all-time favorites yesterday, a man that taught me how to write songs.” Church goes on to sing a gorgeous cover of Prine’s “Long Monday.”
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From her California home, Bonnie Raitt sings her 1977 song, “Home,” dedicating it “to that Angel from Montgomery,” saying, “this one’s for John.”
New Orleans-based singer-songwriter Carsie Blanton wrote and performed a delightful song in honor of Prine. In the description of the Twitter post, Blanton wrote, “Cried all day, then wrote this. Almost made it through the take without crying! Borrowed John’s melody and a bunch of his words, like I often do. They’re all embossed on all my guts. John, we’ll never thank you enough.”
Blanton sings, “Hey, John Prine, thanks for the tunes / They were sweet as peaches, crazy as loons/ Always tellin’ us how to be good to each other / You smartass smilin’ Aimless Lover / But it’s rough down here since we got the news.”
In one of the more unexpected tributes, Tommy Knowles, Senior Aquarist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, posted a video titled “Jammin’ with the Jellies,” and sang Prine’s “How Lucky” in front of jellyfish oscillating quite beautifully in a tank.
Wearing pajamas and sitting comfortably on a couch, Jeff Tweedy took to Instagram Live to perform a sadly very prescient song of Prine’s, “Please Don’t Bury Me.”
CBS This Morning co-host Anthony Mason posted a cheerful video of Prine dancing to “Lake Marie” in 2018. Mason captioned the Twitter post, “The way I’d prefer to remember John Prine leaving us… dancing a jig to the sounds of ‘Lake Marie’ at the Beacon Theatre in 2018.”