2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominee John Prine
Danny Clinch

John Prine

Eligible year:
Number of nominations:
Nominated in:
  • John Prine

the songwriter’s songwriter

Prine can balance of humor and heartbreak, turn of phrase and tongue in cheek. John Prine’s stories become our stories. We see ourselves in his music – he simply writes about us far better than we ever could.


To the top

John Prine is the songwriter’s songwriter.  He’s been honored by the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress, and the Grammy Hall of Fame, while inspiring an entire generation of contemporary Americana music.  Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys describes Prine: “he’s the closest thing I can imagine to ever being around Mark Twain.” Steeped in the tradition of Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and Bob Dylan, Prine was a major voice in the folk revival of the 1970s. His 1971 self-titled debut is an American classic, featuring some of his most celebrated songs, including “Paradise”, “Angel from Montgomery,” and the dramatic Vietnam-vet tale of “Sam Stone.”  During the 1970s, Prine expanded his repertoire while staying connected to American roots music, recording at Atlantic Records, Sam Phillips’ studio in Memphis, and Muscle Shoals in Alabama.  

Prine’s songwriting – a balance of humor and heartbreak, turn of phrase and tongue in cheek – stood out from his contemporaries and was adored by rock’s biggest stars. “Nobody but Prine could write like that,” said Bob Dylan, who calls “Lake Marie” his favorite song. Tom Petty, Bonnie Raitt, and Bruce Springsteen – all noted advocates – appeared on Prine’s 1991 album The Missing Years. A bout with squamous cell cancer in 1998 would have derailed most careers – but not Prine’s. His 2005 album Fair & Square earned a Grammy Award and critical acclaim. In 2018, he toured with Sturgill Simpson and released The Tree of Forgiveness, featuring contributions from Jason Isbell and Brandi Carlile. In September 2018, Prine won his second consecutive Artist of the Year honors at the Americana Music Awards.     

John Prine’s stories become our stories. We recognize his characters and we understand the themes: loneliness (“Hello in There”), perseverance (“Bruised Orange”), vulnerability (“Souvenirs”), humor (“Dear Abby”), divorce (“All the Best”), family (“Grandpa was a Carpenter”), and mortality (“Please Don’t Bury Me”). We see ourselves in Prine’s music – he simply writes about us far better than we ever could. 

Selected discography: 

“Sam Stone,” “Paradise,” “Angel from Montgomery,” John Prine (1971) • “Souvenirs,” Diamonds in the Rough (1972) • “Grandpa Was a Carpenter,” Sweet Revenge (1973) • “Sabu Visits the Twin Cities Alone,” Bruised Orange (1978) • “Unwed Fathers,” Aimless Love (1984) • “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness,” German Afternoons (1986) • “All the Best,” The Missing Years (1991) • “Lake Marie,” Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings (1995) • “In Spite of Ourselves,” In Spite of Ourselves (1999) • “Long Monday,” “Other Side of Town,” Fair & Square (2005) • “Summer’s End,” “Caravan of Fools,” The Tree of Forgiveness (2018)

Read full bio

Fan Vote 2019

To the top

Beginning October 9 and continuing through 11:59 p.m. EST on December 9, 2018, fans can cast votes for who they believe to be most deserving of induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The top five artists, as selected by the public, will comprise a “fans’ ballot” that will be tallied along with the other ballots to choose the 2019 inductees. Fans will need to login to vote. Voting is capped at one ballot per day.

To the top

Get More Artist Stories

To the top