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American Musical Icon John Prine Critical With Coronavirus

John Prine and Iris DeMent sing "In Spite of Ourselves" Live from the Sessions on 54th St.
John Prine and Iris DeMent sing "In Spite of Ourselves" Live from the Sessions on 54th St. Video Credit: John Prine

One of America’s most beloved singer-songwriters, John Prine, remained hospitalized in critical but stable condition with the coronavirus after being intubated over the weekend, his wife said Monday.

As news spread among musicians and fans through the weekend, fellow American music icon Joan Baez posted a a version of Prine’s “Hello In There” that she’d recorded in her kitchen ( see below ).

“John, this song that I’ve sung of yours has been one of the most requested songs in my repertoire for over 40 years,” Baez said. “So let me sing it to you and send along my best wishes and prayers.”

Hello In There for John and Fiona Prine.

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Prine, 73, a former mailman turned folk/country music legend from Illinois, battled squamous cell cancer in the late 90s and lung cancer in 2013. He postponed several shows last year because of the increased risk of a stroke.

The Grammys honored him with a Lifetime Achievement award this past November.

His wife, Fiona Whelan Prine, tweeted Monday that she’d recovered from COVID-19 herself and that she and loved ones were “humbled by the outpouring of love for me and John and our precious family.”

“This is hard news for us to share,” the Prine family posted earlier. “But so many of you have loved and supported John over the years, we wanted to let you know, and give you a chance to send more of that love and support now. And know that we love you, and John loves you.”

Among his many beloved songs, “In Spite Of Ourselves,” ( see video above ) contains this chorus:

In spite of ourselves we'll end up a-sittin' on a rainbow

Against all odds, honey we're the big door-prize

We're gonna spite our noses right off of our faces

There won't be nothin' but big ol' hearts dancin' in our eyes.

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