Country Artists Reflect on Passing of Joe Diffie

-

Country singer Joe Diffie, who had a string of hits in the 1990s with chart-topping ballads and honky-tonk singles like “Home” and “Pickup Man,” has died after testing positive for COVID-19. He was 61. 

Diffie on Friday announced he had contracted the coronavirus, becoming the first country star to go public with such a diagnosis. Diffie’s publicist Scott Adkins said the singer died Sunday in Nashville, Tennessee, due to complications from the virus. 

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).”

“What a sad weekend for our country music and Grand Ole Opry families with the passing of Jan Howard and now Joe Diffie. Joe was a great singer…his record of “Ships That Don’t Come In” is one of my all-time favorite performances. I always knew when I introduced him at the Opry that the fans were about to be well entertained. Joe will certainly be missed.”
–Bill Anderson

“Beyond sadness. Beyond a loss for words. My thoughts and prayers for his family and fans.”
–Billy Ray Cyrus

“We are devastated to hear about the passing of Joe Diffie today. We met Joe and became friends with him right after his first hits in the early 1990s. We will miss him so much and are sending our prayers to his family.”
–David Bellamy, Bellamy Brothers 

“I’m heartbroken to hear that my friend, Joe Diffie, has passed at just 61. I had so much admiration for Joe. He was a wonderful friend and a super talented singer and songwriter. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked to name some of my favorite younger country singers and over the years, Joe Diffie was always one on the top of the list. Whenever we worked a show together, I always wanted to stand on the side and listen. We have lost one of the best country singers that ever lived.”
–Gene Watson

“The minute I heard “Pickup Man,” I thought, what a perfect song for him! He was a good ole boy’, all around kinda guy. He was like tv’s Tim Allen from ‘Home Improvement.’ Relatable and kind. Country music lost one of the good guys today.”
–Naomi Judd

“We just lost one of the best singers this town has ever known. My thoughts and prayers are with Joe Diffie’s family.”
–Phil Vassar 

“Sometimes I hear bad news, and over and over again in that cold empty space, I think if I wait a minute or two, the news will change, but it’s final. Joe Diffie, one of our best singers and my buddy, is gone. We are the same age, so it’s very scary. I will miss his voice, his laughter, his songs. My thoughts go out to his entire family. I’ll love you always Joe and am so grateful you were in my life.”
–Tanya Tucker

“I’m heartbroken and in shock just like all of you over this awful news. Joe Diffie possessed one of the most incredible pure country voices on the planet, and he was always so much fun to be around. My prayers are with his family at this sad time. Rest In Peace ol’ pal.”
–Steve Wariner

“My heart goes out to Joe’s family and Tara in this difficult time. In the past couple of years, I got to know Joe and Tara and I was really looking forward to visiting with them at an upcoming show I was playing with Blake (Shelton), but unfortunately the rest of our tour got cancelled because of the COVID-19 outbreaks. Coincidentally, a month ago Blake had us learn Joe’s hit “If the Devil Danced in Empty Pockets” and we had been doing it every day in soundcheck. We are all big fans of his and his music will live on through so many friends and fans!”
–Jenee Fleenor

“When you think of 90’s country, you think Joe Diffie. It was such an honor to have Joe included in the lineup of my 2nd annual “90’s Night” in Nashville back in March of 2018. His music will continue to impact generations to come in ways that only a few can.” 
–Adam Sanders

“I grew up listening to Joe Diffie. He was a staple in 90’s country music. His voice and music will live on forever. My prayers go out to the Diffie family.”
–Lewis Brice

“Joe Diffie was a true singer’s singer! His passing is heartbreaking to say the least… I was about 20 years old when Joe sent me a MySpace message complimenting my music. I remember where I was and what I was doing when I received it. As a struggling singer in Nashville, his words alone inspired me enough to stay at it! I am beside myself with this news and really have no more words.”
–Billy Droze

“This is truly heartbreaking. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Diffie family. Joe Diffie’s music has impacted so many of our careers. Every time I see a jukebox I will forever see and hear Joe Diffie. He will be forever missed.”
–Lucas Hoge

“Joe Diffie was a classic country artist and songwriter. His voice oozed American country tones and he will truly be missed not just in our country, but around the world too.”
–Taylor Hicks

Popular Posts