The late John Prine has been named as Illinois’ first honorary poet laureate, following his death from coronavirus earlier this year.
Announcing the unprecedented honour, state Governor JB Pritzker said: “John Prine leaves behind an unparalleled musical legacy and was beloved by family and millions of fans who hope that in Heaven he finds Paradise waitin’ just as he longed for.”
“John had a great respect for Writers of all kinds. He regarded Poets as being among those whose work carried weight, relevance and elevated craft,” said Fiona Whelan Prine, the singer and songwriter’s widow.
It’s also my honor to name our state’s first honorary poet laureate. John Prine leaves behind an unparalleled musical legacy and was beloved by family and millions of fans who hope that in Heaven he finds Paradise waitin’ just as he longed for. pic.twitter.com/5RSoDCrgrZ
— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) June 30, 2020
“It is such an honor for me, our sons, and the entire Prine family to acknowledge that our beloved John will be named an Honorary Poet Laureate of the State of Illinois. Thank you, Gov. Pritzker, for this wonderful recognition.”
The accolade follows the arrival of ‘I Remember Everything’, the final track to emerge from the singer after his death.
Produced by Dave Cobb, the track is an acoustic effort from the US songwriter, which comes accompanied by personal home video footage capturing Prine’s life away from the stage.
The recording was broadcast on SiriusXM last week for the station’s SiriusXMU Sessions series.