Joe Diffie, an icon to many country fans for his string of No. 1 hits in the 1990s, has died from complications related to the coronavirus, a spokesperson revealed Sunday afternoon. He was 61.
“Grammy-winning country music legend Joe Diffie passed away today, Sunday, March 29, from complications of coronavirus (COVID-19),” the statement read simply. “His family respects their privacy at this time.”
On Friday, Diffie become the first country star to go public with a coronavirus diagnosis. “I am under the care of medical professionals and currently receiving treatment,” a statement attributed to him read. “My family and I are asking for privacy at this time. We want to remind the public and all my fans to be vigilant, cautious and careful during this pandemic.”
Diffie, a member of the Grand Ole Opry for 25 years, is a household name to any country fan who came of age listening to the format in the 1990s. He had more than 20 top 10 country hits, five of which went to No. 1 (“Home,” “If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets,” “Third Rock from the Sun,” “Pickup Man” and “Bigger Than the Beatles”). Two of his 13 albums went platinum and another two were certified gold.