Country singer Joe Diffie has died of the novel coronavirus after he was tested positive. The singer who had a string of hits in the 1990s with chart-topping ballads and honky-tonk singles like Home and Pickup Man on Friday announced that he had contracted the coronavirus, becoming the first country star to go public with such a diagnosis.
Diffie’s publicist Scott Adkins said that the singer died on Sunday in Nashville, Tennessee, due to complications from the virus. He was 61 at the time of his death.
Diffie, a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, 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).
Diffie also shared in a Grammy award for best country collaboration for the song “Same Old Train”, with Merle Haggard, Marty Stuart, and others. His last solo album was 2010’s the Bluegrass Album: Homecoming.
Diffie is survived by his wife, Tara Terpening Diffie, and seven children from four marriages.