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John Prine, who traded his job as a Chicago mail carrier to become one of the most revered singer-songwriters of the last half-century, died Monday of COVID-19 complications, after surviving multiple bouts with cancer. He was 73.

Rolling Stone first reported his death.

Since he broke through onto the folk scene with his 1971 self-titled debut album, Prine was hailed by critics and his musical peers for his keen observational powers, mordant sense of humor and finely wrought portraits of the human condition, from his trenchant tale of a Vietnam vet’s downward spiral upon his unceremonious homecoming (“Sam Stone”) to his empathetic expressions of the loneliness of old age (“Angel From Montgomery” and “Hello in There”).

He had been hospitalized on March 26 in Nashville with coronavirus symptoms, on the heels of previous hospitalizations for heart issues, in addition to treatments for throat cancer in 1998 and lung cancer in 2013. Both affected his singing voice, but he continued touring regularly up through last year.

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