CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — The family of John Prine said Sunday that the singer-songwriter and Chicago area native is critically ill and has been placed on a ventilator while being treated for COVID-19-type symptoms.
A message posted on Prine’s Twitter page Sunday said the “Angel from Montgomery” singer has been hospitalized since Thursday and his condition worsened on Saturday.
An update on John pic.twitter.com/fPQbv0tLyB
— John Prine (@JohnPrineMusic) March 29, 2020
“This is hard news for us to share,” Prine’s family added. “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 that John loves you.”
Prine’s wife and manager Fiona Whelan Prine earlier this month said that she had tested positive for the coronavirus. She said the couple were quarantined and isolated from each other.
The 73-year-old Prine, one of the most influential in folk and country music, has twice fought cancer. Most recently, he was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2013 and had part of a lung removed. The surgeries affected his voice but Prine continued to make music and to tour. Before the onset of the virus, Prine had shows scheduled in May and a summer tour planned.
Prine is a native of west suburban Maywood, and launched his career in Chicago during the folk revival movement of the 1960s. He took classes as a young man at the Old Town School of Folk Music, and was a regular performer in nearby folk clubs.
Prine’s own website notes that in 1970, he was playing at a long-defunct Chicago folk club called The Fifth Peg, located on Armitage Avenue near the Old Town School’s Lincoln Park site that remains in operation to this day. It so happened that Roger Ebert dropped in.
“At the time, Prine was a 23-year-old mailman who had been singing his original songs every Thursday night for about two months,” Prine’s website says. “Ebert wrote a glowing review for the Chicago Sun-Times, essentially launching Prine’s music career.”
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)