An iconic country music singer and songwriter, Joe Diffie, died on Sunday from the novel coronavirus, The Daily Caller reported. He was 61.
The news of Diffie’s death from the disease came just days after it was revealed that he was receiving treatment after testing positive for COVID-19.
No. 1 hits and platinum albums
CMT News reported that Diffie, who had well over a dozen hits reach No. 1 on the charts, was a hugely popular star in the 1990s and 2000s, one who was known for sticking with the traditional sounds of country music.
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Diffie moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1986 to work for Gibson Guitars, and it was there that he made his entry into the country music scene.
His first No. 1 hit, “Home,” was released in 1990, according to CMT, but it certainly wouldn’t be the only time he reached the top of the charts.
Over the course of the 1990s, Diffie had no fewer than 16 No. 1 hits, including “Pickup Man.” He was also known for songs like his 1993 hit “Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die).”
That same year, Diffie was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, CMT reported.
Songwriter and collaborator
Aside from his own successful solo career, Diffie also wrote chart-topping hits for numerous other country stars of the era and performed in several duets with prominent stars.
One such collaboration with George Jones in 1993 earned him a Country Music Award, while a collaborative effort with 12 other country stars in 1999 had earned him a shared Grammy Award, CMT noted.
But his work in the country music industry continued beyond the ’90s; newer artists like Jason Aldean and Chris Young have called out Diffie by name in tribute in some of their songs, according to CMT, and Luke Combs has credited Diffie as an inspiration.
Unsurprisingly, there has been an outpouring of support and condolences from his grief-stricken friends and industry colleagues in the wake of Diffie’s passing.
It remains to be seen exactly how and when his family will hold a memorial for Diffie, but one can only wonder if a jukebox will somehow be involved.