Country singer Joe Diffie dies aged 61 after contracting coronavirus

Rebecca Speare-Cole
Joe Diffie performs onstage during the 2019 Stagecoach Festival at Empire Polo Field on April 26, 2019 (file photo): Getty Images for Stagecoach

Country singer Joe Diffie has died after testing positive for Covid-19 at the age of 61.

The music legend had a string of hits in the 1990s with chart-topping ballads and honky-tonk singles like "Home" and "Pickup Man".

Diffie on Friday announced he had contracted the coronavirus, becoming the first country star to go public with such a diagnosis.

His 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)."

His mid-90s albums "Honkey Tonk Attitude" and "Third Rock From the Sun" went platinum.

Eighteen of Diffie's singles landed in the top 10, with five going No. 1.

In his 2013 single "1994," Jason Aldean name-checked the '90s country mainstay.

Diffie is survived by his wife, Tara Terpening Diffie, and five children from his five marriages.

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