John Prine was one of Kacey Musgraves' musical heroes, and the "Slow Burn" singer is one of many fans who were devastated by Prine's death this month due to complications from the coronavirus. Speaking to PEOPLE, Musgraves reflected on how Prine had influenced her artistry, sharing that Prine's unique way of writing made a major impact on her.
"John Prine singlehandedly impacted my songwriting more than anyone else. He’s the king of turning phrase but keeping it simple," Musgraves shared. "They say you shouldn’t meet your heroes, but you’ll never meet someone as truly genuine as he was." In 2015, the two artists performed together aboard the Cayamo: A Journey Through Song cruise, where Musgraves played her song "Burn One With John Prine" for her idol. "There are two times I’ve ever seen my dad cry: my Memaw’s funeral and the time I got to play with John Prine," Musgraves recalled.
During the Cayamo performance, Prine shared the story of the first time he met Musgraves, when she came up to him and asked him if he wanted to burn one with her. "This little girl comes up to me with her buddy…. They wanted to take me out in the parking lot and get me high. I said, 'Uh, gee, thanks but… no, thanks,'" Prine said. "We had our picture taken together and the next thing I know, I'm over at my record company, Oh Boy Records, and I hear a tape. It's Kacey singing this song about how she'd like to burn one with John Prine."0comments
After Prine's death, Musgraves used her Instagram Story to share a series of posts remembering Prine, writing that she was "heartbroken." "There will never ever be another John Prine," she captioned a photo of herself crying. She also shared a black-and-white photo of herself and Prine on the Cayamo, which she called "one of the highlights" of her entire life. "Several years ago I got to swap songs on stage with him," the 31-year-old shared. "Just us two and our guitars. Sharing stories. I couldn't have imagined a more full circle moment and I'll never ever forget it. This hurts. My heart is aching for [Fiona Prine] and their sweet family."
The Grammy winner also directed fans to a Instagram post she had shared in September 2018 after performing at the BMI Troubadour Ceremony in Nashville, which honored Prine. In her caption, Musgraves explained that she first heard Prine's song "Illegal Smile" shortly after moving to Nashville and "immediately became completely obsessed" with his work. "Cheers to the years of unbelievable songs you’ve given the world, John," she wrote. "They were incredible when you wrote them and they will be incredible forever. Your influence couldn’t be more widespread and everlasting. Burning one with you or not - you’ve fulfilled my bucket list a million times over."