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John Prine Grammy Best American Roots Performance
On his 2018 track “When I Get to Heaven,” the beloved singer-songwriter John Prine described all the things he was going to do after arriving at God’s great pearly gates. “I’m gonna get a cocktail, vodka and ginger ale, yeah I’m gonna smoke a cigarette that’s nine miles long” sang the troubadour in his soft, signature snarl.
Notably absent from his heavenly to-do list was “posthumously win a Grammy.” I guess life had one more great surprise in store for the man who knew better than most “how the world goes round.” On Sunday, Prine took home the award for “Best American Roots Performance” for his track “I Remember Everything.” It was the very last song Prine wrote before dying shortly after being diagnosed with the Coronavirus in April of 2020. He was 73-years-old. He recorded the track in his living room in Nashville with his longtime collaborator Pat McLaughlin.
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“Thank you to the recording academy for recognizing John’s last recorded song,” said John Prine’s widow and former manager Fiona Whelan. She spoke eloquently from her living room surrounded by their children. “To the fans … you span several generations now, thank you for supporting and continuing to support John’s words and music in the world.”
So cheers to the one and only John Prine. I sincerely hope you are celebrating another well-deserved Grammy win with a perfect vodka ginger ale and the longest cigarette heaven has to offer.
Abigail Covington is a journalist and cultural critic based in Brooklyn, New York but originally from North Carolina, whose work has appeared in Slate, The Nation, Oxford American, and Pitchfork
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