Country singer Joe Diffie, the '90's legend behind "Pickup Man," "Third Rock From the Sun" and "John Deere Green," passed away Sunday (March 29), just two days after he announced that he'd tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).
An email from Adkins Publicity simply announced Diffie's passing "from complications of coronavirus (COVID-19)," followed by "his family respects their privacy at this time."
After scrapping for attention as a demo singer and songwriter in the '80s, the Tulsa, Oklahoma native gained traction in Nashville right as someone with his mighty voice, light sense of humor and ear for dance floor favorites was pretty much a shoo-in for success.
The Grand Ole Opry member for 25 years strong (and Grammy winner) lived the full creative cycle of a veteran country singer, including a stint with a Highwaymen/Old Dogs style supergroup with Sammy Kershaw and Aaron Tippin.
Diffie became became the latest country music personality impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Actor and singer Laura Bell Bundy, folk-rock icon Jackson Browne and John Prine's wife Fiona are among the celebrities to test positive in the past two weeks.
Per Memphis' Fox 13, the COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 1,203 as of March 27, 2020, including six deaths and 103 hospitalizations.
The Associated Press reports that public health officials still stress hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds and staying at home when possible as ways to prevent the pandemic's spread and to protect older adults, people with pre-existing health problems and other high-risk populations.