Stephen Colbert and Brandi Carlile, who have both performed with John Prine at different career points, honored the legendary songwriter on The Late Show on April 8. Colbert recalled learning to play Prine’s songs on guitar after his wife gave him a mixtape with “Paradise” on it. “I learned to play ‘How Lucky’ and learned from him in that song how to be grateful for the things I don’t remember about childhood,” he said. “And talk about lucky, I had learned to know John Prine!”
Carlile, who sang with Prine and Sturgill Simpson on The Late Show in 2018, performed a cover of his 1971 song “Hello in There” in tribute to the songwriter, who died Tuesday at 73 due to COVID-19. “For the people that weren’t familiar with his music, they’re about to get a whole lot of truth dropped on them, which I am really happy about, at least,” she said. “I think that this is a song that John would like me to sing, because this song refers to the people that we’re all staying home to protect, and it reminds us that older people aren’t expendable, that they made us who we are and they’ve given us every single thing that we have.” We couldn’t have said it better.