John Prine has received a very special posthumous honor. The late country folk legend has been named the first honorary poet laureate of Illinois, his home state.

“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,” comments Governor J.B. Pritzker in a statement.

The unprecedented accolade closely follows the release of Prine’s final single, “I Remember Everything,” which opened at No. 1 on the Rock Digital Song Sales tally dated June 27, for his first No. 1 on a Billboard chart.

Prine died April 7, due to complications with coronavirus. He was 73.

His life and career was celebrated with the two-hour June 11 special Picture Show: A Tribute Celebrating John Prine, which aired on multiple social platforms including the musician’s Facebook, YouTube and Twitch channels. During the service, viewers were encouraged to make donations to the National Alliance on Mental IllnessAlive Hospice and Make the Road New York.

“I Remember Everything” was written with longtime collaborator Pat McLaughlin and recorded in Prine’s living room.

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