It’s been four years since John Prine appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and sang a duet with the host, Billboard reports.
At the beginning of the previously unaired duet, Colbert said: “We’ll probably do this for the internet. Unless, you know, something terrible happens and we have to cheer up the world on the TV show.”
Well, something terrible happened. Not only is the world facing the coronavirus pandemic, but folk legend Prine himself is battling the virus, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Upon learning Prine had been hospitalized and placed on a ventilator, Colbert decided to release the clip, which he called “one of the happiest moments I’ve had on my show.”
Prine’s wife, Fiona Prine, recently posted on Twitter that the singer was “stable,” but later clarified in a follow-up tweet that Prine was still receiving care and was not yet improving. Fiona Prine had also been diagnosed with COVID-19, but says she has recovered.
I have recovered from Covid-19. We are humbled by the outpouring of love for me and John and our precious family. He is stabile. Please continue to send your amazing Love and prayers. Sing his songs. Stay home and wash hands. John loves you. I love you— Fiona Whelan Prine (@FionaPrine) March 30, 2020
I need to clarify what I mean by “John is stable”. That is not the same as improving. There is no cure for Covid-19. He needs our prayers and love - as do the thousands of others who are critically ill. Stay at home. Wash your hands. We love you.— Fiona Whelan Prine (@FionaPrine) March 30, 2020
Colbert isn’t the only one to pay tribute to the folk hero. The Chicago Tribune published a piece detailing Prine’s unique history in the city — the Illinois musician performed in Chicago shortly after the Cubs won the world series in 2016. Prine has also had an influence on a wide range of musicians, including Pink Floyd and Bon Iver.