[Photo courtesy of Birthday Cake Media]
By Julia Weber, Features Editor
The Newport Folk Festival recently announced that Leith Ross will be the first recipient of the John Prine Songwriter Fellowship.
Newport Folk Festival said via Instagram: “We created this fellowship in partnership with John’s family to celebrate John’s life and the impact he had on our festival community.”
Leith Ross initially gained a notable following on TikTok after they posted a short video of their now-released single, “We’ll Never Have Sex.” The video, which was originally posted on August 29, 2021, currently has 1.1 million likes and the sound itself has been used in 37.8 thousand TikToks.
Ross announced a performance during the upcoming Here And There Festival, which is curated by indie musician Courtney Barnett. Other artists performing at the Redmond, WA show which Ross is performing at include Sleater-Kinney, Waxahatchee, Fred Armisen and Courtney Barnett.
John Prine was an American singer-songwriter who is widely credited as being an instrumental musician in folk and country music. Prine released an expansive discography throughout his lifetime and fundamentally influenced music spanning multiple genres. He passed away after testing positive for COVID-19 in April of 2020. His wife, Fiona Whelan, established the Hello In There Foundation in Prine’s honor after his death.
“Each year, we choose one young songwriter that we feel embodies John’s spirit and provide them with their first slot at the festival. Leith’s intimate, yet relatable songwriting style and clever lyrics remind us of John all while being completely unique,” Newport Folk Festival said via Instagram.