Country singer Joe Diffie dies of complications from coronavirus

Catherine Garcia

Joe Diffie, a country singer and member of the Grand Ole Opry for more than 25 years, died Sunday in Nashville of coronavirus complications, his publicist announced. He was 61.

On Friday, Diffie revealed that he had tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. Singer John Rich said in a statement Diffie was "a real true honky tonk hero to every country artist alive today. No one sang our music better than he did, and to see his life and artistry cut short is beyond tragic. He was loved, cherished, and respected by all of country music and beyond."

Diffie had 18 singles in the top 10 on the country charts, and five reached No. 1, The Associated Press reports. His hits included "Pickup Man," "Bigger Than the Beatles," and "If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets)," and along with Marty Stuart, Diffie won a Grammy in 1998 for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for "Same Old Train." He is survived by his wife, Tara Terpening Diffie, and seven children.

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