John + Fiona Prine — Country Music’s Greatest Love Stories
John Prine had been married twice before he found his now-wife, Fiona. The pair met in 1988, in Dublin, Ireland -- far away from Nashville -- and their relationship was a bit of an uphill battle at first, Fiona Prine admits.
"There were a lot of things stacked against us,” she told Rolling Stone in 2017. “He was on the road and had been through two marriages."
"I was a high risk," John Prine admitted to Men's Journal in 2018. Nonetheless, for him, "it was love at first sight."
An Irish actress introduced the pair, at a concert after-party at the Blooms Hotel. "Fiona said, ‘I saw you play when I was 17. When will I hear you next?'" Prine recounts. "And I said, ‘Right now,’ and walked up onstage with her and just started playing."
At the time, Fiona was working in Dublin as a business manager for a recording studio, and despite those less-than-favorable odds, she and Prine kept in touch. She moved to Nashville in 1993, and in 1995, the couple welcomed their sons Tommy and Jack; they're "Irish twins," John Prine jokes, born 10 months apart. (Prine would also adopt Jody, Fiona's son from a previous marriage.)
The Prines tied the knot in Nashville on April 6, 1996.
“It put my feet right on the ground. I didn’t know that I was missing that until I found it. All of a sudden I felt normal with a capital N," John Prine says of his new marriage and family. "I didn’t realize it, but it was something that I was striving for after years and years of being a total daydreamer."
Together, the Prines weathered the struggles that came with Prine's music career and frequent traveling -- and his two battles with cancer, first in 1998 and then in 2013. However, music is a family business, too: Fiona is her husband's manager, and son Jody works for his record label, Oh Boy Records. In fact, it was Fiona who convinced Prine to record his 2016 album For Better or Worse, a project of collaborations with Miranda Lambert, Amanda Shires and other women.
“What you see with him is what you get,” Fiona Prine says of her husband. “What I saw when I met him is exactly what I got. He’s the real deal."