Brandi Carlile Honors Late Folk Icon John Prine During 2021 Grammy Awards
Brandi Carlile paid touching tribute to late folk icon John Prine, who died of COVID-19 in early April 2020, during the 2021 Grammy Awards. The singer-songwriter played Prine's final song, the posthumously released "I Remember Everything," which won two Grammys earlier in the day on Sunday (March 14).
"We all thank you, John — for everything," Carlile said to conclude her performance.
Carlile's performance was part of an in memoriam segment that also honored Little Richard, Gerry Marsden and Kenny Rogers through performances. A video segment honored, among many others, Bill Withers, K.T. Oslin, Eddie Van Halen, Bonnie Pointer, Charlie Daniels, Jan Howard and Charley Pride.
"He is one of my great heroes," Carlile said of Prine ahead of the 2021 Grammy Awards. "He's certainly one of the greatest songwriters of all time, and there's so many of that just wouldn't -- we wouldn't write songs and we wouldn't know how if not for John."
A folk legend known for songs such as "Sam Stone" and "Angel From Montgomery," the latter of which Bonnie Raitt made famous, Prine died of the novel coronavirus on April 7, at the age of 73. Carlile admits that his death has felt especially heavy for her and many others because the singer-songwriter's friends, family and fans were not able to gather together in person to honor him.
"Having lost him this year to COVID is especially heartbreaking," Carlile added, "but there's something about this performance for me that's really cathartic ... and I just feel like there's hope and redemption in the words of [the song I'm performing]."
"I Remember Everything" won both Best American Roots Performance and Best American Roots Song during the 2021 Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony. The artist's wife Fiona and their three sons were on hand via videochat to accept the honors.
"It's one of the rare times that we've gotten together. It just feels so wonderful," Fiona Prine shared in the Grammys' virtual press room. "I feel John's presence today very strongly."
Prine earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy in 2020.