John Prine, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter from Chicago, critically ill with the coronavirus

“His situation is critical,” says a statement on the artist’s Twitter account

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John Prine performs during the 2019 Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala in New York City.

Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

Singer-songwriter John Prine, a Grammy-winning veteran of the Chicago folk scene whose admirers include Bob Dylan and Roger Waters, has been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

“After a sudden onset of Covid-19 symptoms, John was hospitalized on Thursday (3/26),” said a statement on his Twitter account. “He was intubated Saturday evening, and continues to receive care, but his situation is critical.”

His wife and manager, Fiona Whelan Prine, had announced her own positive test for the virus on March 18. At the time she said results from her husband’s tests were “indeterminate.”

The couple responded by isolating from each other as well as from other family members. 

“He’s had a lot of different health issues, and he is definitely in that vulnerable population that they’ve been talking about,” she said then in an Instagram video, adding, “This would not be a good virus for him to get.”

John Prine, 73, is a two-time cancer survivor. He was most recently diagnosed with lung cancer in 2013, which led to a surgical removal of part of a lung. He had stent surgery in 2019 and postponed tour dates to have hip surgery earlier this year.

The Maywood native and Proviso East grad was a late ’60s fixture at Chicago clubs including the Earl of Old Town, where he was spotted and groomed for greatness by Kris Kristofferson and Paul Anka.

He is a two-time winner of the Grammy Award for best contemporary folk album (for “Fair and Square” and “The Missing Years”). This year he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammys, which said his “witty approach to storytelling has made him one of the most revered country and folk singer/songwriters since his emergence in the ’70s.”

Contributing: USA Today Network

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