John Prine Wins Three Posthumous Awards at 2021 Grammys

by Jacklyn Krol

John Prine posthumously won three Grammy Awards.

John Prine: A 2021 Grammy Winner

Prine won the 2021 Grammy Awards for Best American Roots Performance and Best American Roots Song for “I Remember Everything.” Additionally, he was honored with the Grammys Lifetime Achievement Award.

On Sunday (March 14), his wife, Fiona Whelan, and family accepted his honors virtually during the Grammys Premiere Ceremony. Winners had the option to give a 30-second acceptance speech via Zoom.

“Thank you to The Recording Academy,” Whelan began. “Thank you for recognizing John’s last recorded song. Pat McLaughlin co-writer of this beautiful song, we love you.” She thanked the other producers and mixers who helped bring John Prine’s vision to life.

“Thank you for making recording magic happen in our living room in Nashville,” she continued. “The music community in Nashville and beyond- your love and encouragement has meant the world to us this past year. And to the fans, you spent several generations now. Thank you for supporting and continuing to spread John’s words and music in the world.”

A Grammy Performance In His Honor

Brandi Carlile is set to take the Grammys stage to perform a tribute to John Prine. This year, Carlile is nominated for Best Country Song for “Crowded Table” at the awards show. She is also up for

“John was the great mentor to all of us,” Carlile teased to Entertainment Tonight. “I think all singer/songwriters that were lucky enough to have proximity to John or get to know John, all feel like they were significantly, individually special to him. And I hope that was the case with me. But the truth is that he just loved us all. And he taught us all how to write songs and he taught us how to laugh at ourselves. This year it’s been hard to not get out and honor him on stage with our songs and our jokes and our spiritual connection to him, but finally, I’m getting to do it. He has meant so much to so many of us. We wouldn’t even know how to do what we do without him.”

His Legacy

Furthermore, over John Prine’s music career, he has earned 13 nominations and five Grammy wins. He received his first No. 1 hit with “I Remember Everything.” It debuted No. 1 on the Billboard Rock Songs chart. Although he doesn’t have a string of chart-toppers, he has created some of the most poignant and achingly beautiful songs of all time. 

John Prine passed away on April 7, 2020, due to complications from COVID-19. In a statement, Whelan spoke about the dangers of COVID and praise for Vanderbilt Hospital.

“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,” she wrote. “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.”