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Grammy-Winning Country music star Joe Diffie dies of complications from coronavirus

Posted by on March 30th, 2020


Joe Diffie, a country singer who had a string of hits in the 1990s with chart-topping ballads and honky-tonk singles like “Home” and “Pickup Man,” died on Sunday in Nashville. He was 61.

He announced on Friday that he had contracted the coronavirus, becoming the first country star to go public with such a diagnosis. His publicist, Scott Adkins, confirmed his death.

Mr. Diffie was a member of the Grand Ole Opry for more than 25 years. His hits included “Honky Tonk Attitude,” “Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die),” “Bigger Than the Beatles” and “If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets).”

Mr. Diffie shared a Grammy Award for best country collaboration for the song “Same Old Train,” with Merle Haggard, Marty Stuart and others.

Joe Logan Diffie was born on Dec. 28, 1958, in Tulsa, Okla.

His last solo album was 2010’s “The Bluegrass Album: Homecoming.”

“Joe was a real true honky-tonk hero to every country artist alive today,” the singer John Rich said in a statement. “No one sang our music better than he did.”

The singer Deana Carter said she was “shell shocked” by the news and had hoped to perform again with Mr. Diffie this year. “He was a powerhouse that stopped people in their tracks, both on and offstage,” she said in a statement.

Mr. Diffie is survived by his wife, Tara Terpening Diffie, and seven children from four marriages.

I just learned that @JoeDiffieOnline has passed away due to complications from the Coronavirus. Joe was a friend and touring partner with me in the 90’s. This comes as a huge shock to all of us in the country music community. Deepest condolences to Joe’s family, friends and fans.

— Travis Tritt (@Travistritt) March 29, 2020


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