“God bless you, to that Angel from Montgomery. This one’s for John,” Bonnie Raitt said
Bonnie Raitt is mourning the death of her close friend and collaborator, John Prine.
The country-folk singer and songwriter, who was behind classics such as “Angel from Montgomery,” died on April 7 following a battle with the novel coronavirus. He was 73.
“It’s Bonnie here, holed up at home like you are. Finding surprising blessings and having more time to just lay around and read and cook and do all those things I always wished I could do if I had more time,” she began her video, which was recorded on Wednesday, one day after his death.
“Of course, the reason we’re doing this is heartbreaking, and I’m hoping that we’re going to be coming out of this with lessons learned, and appreciating what we have,” she said, referring to the global health crisis.
“For those who aren’t blessed to have a secure and safe home, and adequate medical care, and are worried about their economic future, and going through medical health crises, my heart is going out to you,” Raitt shared.
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“I’m still so heartbroken over the loss of John Prine, and I know you are, too,” said Raitt, who inducted Prine into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2019.
“But I wanted to reach out and send my love, and wish you all the best, and tell you I’m thinking about you. Singing this beautiful Karla Bonoff song that I cut years ago and have sung for you before. Here we are, grateful to be here and looking at coming out of this wiser and more appreciative of each other,” she said.
Raitt added, “God bless you, to that Angel from Montgomery. This one’s for John,” before performing an acoustic version of Bonoff’s 1977 song “Home.”
“He was incredibly endearing and witty,” Raitt told Rolling Stone in 2017. “The combination of being that tender and that wise and that astute mixed with his homespun sense of humor – it was probably the closest thing for those of us that didn’t get the blessing of seeing Mark Twain in person.”
Prine died as a result of complications from the coronavirus at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, a representative confirmed on behalf of Prine’s family to PEOPLE.
The singer was hospitalized with a “sudden onset” of COVID-19 symptoms on March 26 and intubated on March 28, his family wrote in a statement posted to Instagram on March 29.
His wife of 23 years, Fiona Whelan Prine, was also diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier in March.
In recent years, Prine survived cancer twice. In 1998, he had surgery and radiation to fight squamous cell cancer that was found on his neck, and underwent a year of speech therapy before he could perform again, with a more gravelly voice.
Then in 2013, he survived lung cancer, regaining his strength by running up and down the stairs of his house and then picking up his guitar to sing a song. He released his last album, The Tree of Forgiveness, in 2018.
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