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Northern Ireland fans in John Prine tribute after coronavirus death

John Prine

Northern Ireland fans of John Prine have paid tribute to the folk singer after he died at the age of 73 due to coronavirus complications.

The singer-songwriter, one of the most influential figures in US folk and country music, had been in a critical condition after contracting Covid-19.

He died from complications caused by the virus on Tuesday at a hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, his management said.

Two-time Grammy winner Prine had been in hospital since last month and his wife and manager, Fiona, said on March 17 that she had also tested positive for coronavirus.

Radio Ulster presenter Ralph McLean said he was "devastated" to hear of Prine's passing.

"Waking up to this awful news," he wrote on Twitter. "The genius that was John Prine left us. Devastated. John was one of the true greats. Thoughts with @FionaPrine and all the family right now."

Singer-songwriter Ciaran Lavery from Aghagallon, Co Antrim, paid tribute to "the master songwriter", who, over the years, played gigs in venues across Northern Ireland including the Rialto Theatre in Londonderry and Belfast's Ulster Hall.

Lavery tweeted: "I’m beyond gutted to hear about the passing of John Prine but also grateful to have been exposed to the music and stories of a true genius #RIPJohnPrine.

"My thoughts go out to Fiona, Jody, the family, friends & fans."

Revered rock star Bruce Springsteen, who emerged on the national stage around the same time as Prine, with both garnering comparisons to Bob Dylan, paid tribute to a “true national treasure”.

He tweeted: “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 lovliest guy in the world. A true national treasure and a songwriter for the ages. We send our love and prayers to his family.”

Country music star Sheryl Crow said Prine’s music would endure.

She tweeted: “My heart hurts learning that John Prine has passed away. He is singing with the angels. You will be missed but your songs will live on.”

Ryan Peake, from the band Nickelback, said on the group’s Twitter account: “Sad news about John Prine. Amazing songwriter and musician. It’s a big loss to the music industry. Bill Withers and John Prine in a week. Goddamn it.”

Belfast Telegraph