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Country music star Joe Diffie dies of coronavirus, aged 61

Coronavirus has taken yet another soul over the weekend, this time the victim being 90s country-music hitmaker Joe Diffie.

Diffie’s publicist confirmed the 61-year-old passed away on Sunday due to COVID-19 related complications.

PHOTO: CRYSTAL K MARTEL/ADKINS PUBLICITY HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/SHUTTERSTOCK

90s country music star Joe Diffie was confirmed dead at age 61 over the weekend due to Coronavirus-related complications.

Born Joseph Logan Diffie, the Oklahoma-born star crafted his art through singing with gospel and bluegrass groups as well as playing in bars and honky-tonks in the early years of his career. His father was a man of many trades holding jobs as a teacher, truck driver and welder, however, his taste in country music and partnership with Joe led them to run a small recording studio together.

Diffie moved over to Nashville in 1986 and implemented a five-year plan to make it in the music business. He started working with Gibson and singing on demos for Hank Thompson and Holly Dunn among many others.

After being signed to Epic Records, Diffie released his debut album A Thousand Winding Roads in 1990 featuring the hit song Home which launched his career and became the first debut single to reach the top of the country charts on all three publications at the time – Billboard, Gavin, and Radio & Records.

He then continued his coveted career and his streak of six top-five singles in a row before winning a Grammy in 1998 for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for Same Old Train, featuring Merle Haggard, Clint Black, Emmylou Harris, and more.

Drawing comparisons to the likes of George Jones, Diffie’s honky-tonk ballads included If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets)Third Rock From the SunPickup Man and Bigger than the Beatles.

Diffie was a beloved part of the country music world, with fellow country star Vince Gill agreeing that he is a special part of the industry.

“There are plenty of singers in this town, but not many with a range like his,” Gill told People magazine in 1993.

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March 30, 2020