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John Prine’s wife Fiona Whelan Prine issued a statement Wednesday following the death of the great singer-songwriter, who Bruce Springsteen called “one of the best we had,” from complications related to coronavirus. He was 73, and while both he and his wife were afflicted with the illness, she has since recovered

“Our beloved John died yesterday evening at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee,” she wrote. “We have no words to describe the grief our family is experiencing at this time. John contracted COVID-19 and in spite of the incredible skill and care of his medical team at Vanderbilt he could not overcome the damage this virus inflicted on his body.”

“I sat with John — who was deeply sedated — in the hours before he passed,” she continued, “and will be forever grateful for that opportunity.

“My dearest wish is that people of all ages take this virus seriously and follow guidelines set by the CDC,” she concluded. “We send our condolences and love to the thousands of other American families who are grieving the loss of loved ones at this time — and to so many other families across the world.

“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the outpouring of love we have received from family, friends and fans all over the world. John will be so missed but he will continue to comfort us with his words and music and the gifts of kindness, humor and love he left for all of us to share.”

In lieu of flowers, Whelan Prine is instead asking fans to make donations to the nonprofits Thistle FarmsRoom in the Inn and Nashville Rescue Mission.