John Prine Bio

John Prine Biography FULL | Early Life, Net Worth, Family

How true is the statement, “Old is Gold.” The older, the more attached to it, the more precious it becomes. John Prine, this old man of 73, had made an incalculable impact on the world with his finest lyrics and songs. He’s an epitome of beautiful American country-folk songs that will live a hundred more years. A singer and songwriter with a raspy voice and a gift for offbeat humor, John Prine, filled his songs and lyrics with a glimpse of short stories that resembled true people’s life. No wonder his pieces of art are gemstone to million of his lovers.

John Prine Bio

John Prine Bio

Name: John Prine

Country: United States

Nationality: American

Profession: Singer and songwriter

Age: 73 years old (2020)

Height: 5 feet and 8 inches

Birth Place: Maywood, Illinois, United States

Date of Birth (Birthday): October 10, 1946,

Died Date (Death Date): April 7, 2020

Net Worth (2020): $10 million USD

Education Qualification: N/A

Parents and Siblings: he has a brother.

Father Name: William Prine

Mother Name: Verna Hamm

Brother Name: David Prine

Martial status: Married

Wife Name: Fiona Whelan Prine

Children/Kids: He has two sons

Sons Name: Tommy Prine and Jack Prine

Facts: He was a very spiritual kind of person.

Facebook Account: YES

Instagram Account: YES

Twitter Account: YES

Wikipedia: YES


Movies: Daddy and Them, Falling from Grace, and MORE

Songs: In Spite of Ourselves, Sam Stone, Hello in There, Summers End, Another side of town, Crazy as a loon, etc

More about the Famous Songsmith

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has made a huge loss to the world. A lot of shining gems, god’s grandeur to this world, have taken their paths back to god. John Prine, aged 73, fought until the end of the vicious COIVD-19 but was then defeated. On April 7, 2020, he took his last breath and left the world saddening thousands of this admirer and loving ones.

October 10, 1946, was a delightful day for his parents, William Mason Prine and Verna Valentine (Hamm), as it was the day they held Prine in their arms for the very first time. His parents belonged to Kentucky but he was born and raised in Maywood, Illinois. His father was a tool and die maker and the president of the local steelworkers union. John and his three brothers were raised on the music of Jimmie Rodgers, the Carter Family, Hank Williams, and other heroes of Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry.

John Prine Bio

Though he was a poor student, Prine was a natural songwriter. When he was 14, “Sour Grapes” and “The Frying Pan,” are the two songs he wrote so early which ended up on his LP Diamonds in the Rough, more than 10 years later. Prine started playing guitar at age 14, taught by his brother, David. He attended classes at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music and Proviso Township High School (later called Proviso East) in Maywood, Illinois.  He excelled at hobbies he focused on, like gymnastics, which he was inspired to take up by his older brother, Doug.

He graduated from high school in 1964. After that, as advised by his oldest brother, Dave, he became a mailman. While going around Chicago suburbs, he wrote many of his classic early songs including “Donald and Lydia”. As his songs are filled with hear-touching stories this song was about two people who made love from 10 miles away. In late 1996, he was enlisted into Army to serve in the Vietnam war. As he got lucky enough, he was sent to Stuttgart instead of Vietnam, where he worked as a mechanical engineer. He mentioned in 2018 that his military task in Stuttgart was just drinking and fixing trucks.

John Prine Bio

After the Vietnam war, he realized a lot of soldiers came home and got hooked on drugs and never could get off of it as they had been through a rough part of their life. This realization made him write maybe his greatest song: “Sam Stone.” The ballad is about a soldier who comes home from the war mentally shattered, turning to morphine to ease the pain. “There’s a hole in daddy’s arm where all the money goes,” Prine sings in the chorus., “Jesus Christ died for nothin’, I suppose.”

Prine’s real music

At an earlier phase of life, Prine used to sing as a hobby and later started singing in clubs. On the day before his 24th birthday, he was performing at Chicago’s Fifth Peg when Robert Ebert walked in. Ebert was so mesmerized with Prine that he even mentioned, ‘’Singing Mailman Delivers a Powerful Message in a Few Words” which led to sold-out rooms. Later again Kristofferson heard him play one night at a Chicago club called the Earl of Old Town who was brought there by the singer-songwriter Steve Goodman. Kristofferson found Prine’s words as “something that he had never heard before.”

John Prine Bio

A few weeks later, Kristofferson invited him onstage at the Bitter End in Greenwich Village, where he was appearing with Carly Simon, and where he was introduced to the audience. The record executive Jerry Wexler, who was in the audience, signed Prine to a contract with Atlantic Records the next day. And thus, this created the official musical journey of very soulful singer and song-writer, John Prine.

His debut album, called simply “John Prine” and released in 1971, included songs that became his signatures. They included “Sam Stone,” about a drug-addicted war veteran, “Hello in There,” a heart-rending evocation of old age and loneliness; and “Angel From Montgomery,” the hard-luck lament of a middle-aged woman dreaming about a better life. The album was given terrific reviews by both fans and music critics. Prine was labeled as the “New Dylan”. His songs brought him a huge audience who ate his music up.

The follow-up to John Prine was a special album called “Diamonds In The Rough”. A single off of the album called “Yes I Guess They Oughta Name A Drink After You”, was written by Prine to pay homage to one of his heroes, Hank Williams. Two other songs on Diamonds In The Rough, “Sour Grapes” and “The Frying Pan” were written by Prine when he was only fourteen. With Common Sense, released in 1975, it became his last piece for Atlanta Records and he then signed with Asylum Records, where he recorded an additional three albums, “Bruised Orange”, “Pink Cadillac” and “Storm Windows” in 1978, 1979 and 1980 respectively.

Now, Prine was determined to have his own label, and he responded by establishing his Oh Boy Records, with the help of longtime manager Al Bunetta. The label’s first release was 1984’s “Aimless Love”. After 1988’s John Prine Live, his first concert set, he released 1991’s Grammy-winning “The Missing Years”; co-produced by Howie Epstein of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers, the album featured guest appearances from Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, and Tom Petty and proved to be Prine’s biggest commercial success to date, selling nearly 250,000 copies. After making his film debut in 1992’s John Mellencamp-directed “Falling from Grace”, Prine returned in 1995 with “Lost Dogs” and “Mixed Blessings”, also produced by Epstein, which earned him another Grammy nomination.

john prine

In 1998 he was diagnosed with squamous cell cancer on the right side of his neck. After surgery and treatment, he returned in 1999 with performing a small show in Bristol, Tennessee. His cancer surgery had changed his voice later as admitted by Prine himself. He debuted his new voice — which did feel a bit rougher of comfort, like a rock swathed in moss — with 1999’s “In Spite of Ourselves”.

In 2013, Prine was again sidelined briefly, diagnosed with a spot on his left lung. Six months after the cancer was removed, he was back on the road. Following Buntta’s 2015 death, Prine became the sole owner and president of Oh Boy Records. In 2016, Prine issued a follow-up to “In Spite of Ourselves” titled “For Better, Or Worse”, another set of duet performances of classic country tunes. In 2017, Mr. Prine published “John Prine Beyond Words,” a collection of lyrics, guitar chords, commentary, and photographs from his own archive.

His last studio album, The Tree of Forgiveness, was released in April 2018, just six months after he was named the Americana Music Association’s Artist of the Year. It was his 19th album and his first of original material in more than a decade. Prine went on tour in 2018 to promote “Tree of Forgiveness.” After being inducted to Songwriters Hall of Fame, there he expressed his immense happiness of choosing to become a songwriter. In his words, “I gotta say, there’s no better feeling than having a killer song in your pocket, and you’re the only one in the world who’s heard it.”

John Prine: Achievements

Year Work Category
1972 John Prine Best New Artist (nominated)
1986 German Afternoons Best Contemporary Folk Recording (nominated)
1988 John Prine Live Best Contemporary Folk Recording (nominated)
1991 The Missing Years Best Contemporary Folk Album
1995 Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings Best Contemporary Folk Album
1997 Live on Tour Best Contemporary Folk Album
1999 In Spite of Ourselves Best Contemporary Folk Album
2005 Fair & Square Best Contemporary Folk Album
2018 The Tree of Forgiveness Best Americana Album
2018 Summer’s End Best Americana Roots Song
2018 Knockin’ on Your Screen Door” Best Americana Roots Song
2020 John Prine Lifetime Achievement Award



In 2016, Prine received the PEN New England Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence Award. Also, over his career, Prine received six awards from the Americana Music Honors & Awards: the Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting (2003), Artist of the Year (2005, 2017, 2018), Song of the Year for “Summer’s End” (2019) and Album of the Year for The Tree of Forgiveness (2019). During his lifetime he was nominated for 11 Grammys, with two wins.

Apart from all of this, John Prine was also an actor. He had made appearances in movies like ‘Falling from Grace’ (1992), ‘Waiting on a Song’ (2017), and ‘Nanci Griffith & John Prine: Speed of the Sound of Loneliness’ (1993).

John Prine Bio

John Prine’s Family

John Prine’s wife is Fiona Whelan Prine, a native of Ireland whom he married in 1996. He has three sons, Jody, Jack, and Tommy. His living two brothers are Dave and Billy and have three grandchildren. Prine, who lived in Nashville, was divorced twice. He was first married to his high school sweetheart Ann Carole in 1966 hey stayed together until the late Seventies. He got married to songwriter and bassist Rachel Peer in 1984, who he met at Cowboy Jack Clement’s Nashville studio. Later in 1988, when he was in Ireland, he met Fiona Whelan there and the two got the marital bond in 1996.

John Prine Bio

John Prine: An interpreter of million of stories

John had managed never to disappoint his fans with the help of his meaningful songs and his own guitar playing. For five decades, he wrote rich, plain-spoken songs that talked about ordinary people along with illustrating larger truths about society. He was a true influencer as he always held a bunch of his loyal fans picking his masterpieces to their hearts. Being one of the greatest songwriters of his generation, he even got named “the Mark Twain of songwriting.” His ingenious lyrics to songs that turn as poignant, angry, and comic made him a favorite of Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, and others.

The storyteller, but then, became a victim of deadly coronavirus. Unfortunately, John died on April 7, 2020, from complications due to COVID-19. He was 73 years old by the time of his death. He had been hospitalized for a month for bad health and later on the 7th of April he took a step away from the world. He had a net worth of $10 million at the time of his death, his earnings of happiness in his lifetime.

His sad departure has led much of his fans to sadness as they will always feel his absence and his any more new pieces with newer stories and his voice. The old man led his life contributing the finest songs to the world which are pearl pieces for people out there. The world will miss the old yet most twinkling gem.

John Prine Net Worth

John Prine’s net worth: John Prine was an American singer, songwriter, and musician who had a net worth of $10 million at the time of his death. He played guitar and his styles included country folk, Americana, and progressive bluegrass.

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