Joe Diffie, beloved country star known for "Pickup Man," "Ships That Don't Come In," "Third Rock From the Sun," "Bigger Than the Beatles," "John Deere Green" and many more hits, died on Sunday, March 29 from complications related to coronavirus (COVID-19). He was 61 years old.
Country artists, from Diffie's peers to the country artists who grew up idolizing the legendary singer, are grieving the loss of the Opry star.
"I'm devastated by the loss of my friend Joe Diffie," Brad Paisley wrote. "I can't find adequate words. But the records he made, that voice, the twinkle in his eye, and our memories cannot be taken away by this disease. Please celebrate his music today everyone, go listen again to his records. And do EVERYTHING we need to do to defeat this virus."
Trisha Yearwood reflected on meeting Diffie during her early years in Nashville and her friendship with the singer.
"Joe's voice was always so pure and just...on. He never missed a note. Ever," Yearwood wrote. "You never think the last time you see someone is going to be the last time you see them. My heart is broken today for Joe's family and friends, and for all the fans who love his music. I will miss my friend. Godspeed."
Chely Wright remembered Diffie as a kind tour partner and one of the best voices in country music.
My heart is absolutely breaking over the loss of life we are witnessing. @JoeDiffieOnline was so nice and so great to tour with and one of the best country music singers of all time.
61 years old.
God damn it. https://t.co/AhrxfNPGyg
— Chely Wright (@chelywright) March 29, 2020
"Joe was a friend and touring partner with me in the '90s," Travis Tritt wrote. "This comes as a huge shock to all of us in the country music community. Deepest condolences to Joe's family, friends and fans."
I just learned that @JoeDiffieOnline has passed away due to complications from the Coronavirus. Joe was a friend and touring partner with me in the 90’s. This comes as a huge shock to all of us in the country music community. Deepest condolences to Joe’s family, friends and fans.
— Travis Tritt (@Travistritt) March 29, 2020
Tritt also shared one of his favorite photos of himself with Diffie.
We've lost a friend, @JoeDiffieOnline to this horrible virus. Wishing his family and all those who knew and loved Joe the very best in strength and peace of mind. Let that "jukebox" play him off to rest in peace.
— Clint Black (@Clint_Black) March 29, 2020
2020... damn. RIP Pickup Man. So sad. We lost Joe Diffie
— Cole Swindell (@coleswindell) March 29, 2020
— Trace Adkins (@TraceAdkins) March 29, 2020
Anybody out there not taking this shit serious we just lost @JoeDiffieOnline to Covid and it breaks my heart and infuriates me that some of you don’t take it serious. Wake the hell up
— Kendell Marvel (@kendellmarvel) March 29, 2020
Just got word that Joe Diffie has passed away.
Sincere condolences to his family
It’s such a shock and such a loss for Country Music
Rest In Peace Joe
— Charlie Daniels (@CharlieDaniels) March 29, 2020
"I'm heartbroken and in shock just like all of you over this awful news," Steve Wariner wrote. "[Diffie] possessed on of the most incredible pure country voices on the planet, and he was always so much fun to be around."
I’m heartbroken and in shock just like all of you over this awful news. @JoeDiffieOnline 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. pic.twitter.com/BOgd5CTf0v
— Steve Wariner (@stevewariner) March 29, 2020
— ChrisYoungMusic (@ChrisYoungMusic) March 29, 2020