Country Legend Joe Diffie Dies of Coronavirus Complications at 61

Joe Diffie, one of the most celebrated country artists of the 1990s, died Sunday from complications of the coronavirus, his publicist confirmed to PEOPLE. He was 61. Two days before his death, the Grammy-winning artist said he tested positive...

Country Legend Joe Diffie Dies of Coronavirus Complications at 61

Joe Diffie, one of the most celebrated country artists of the 1990s, died Sunday from complications of the coronavirus, his publicist confirmed to PEOPLE. He was 61.

Two days before his death, the Grammy-winning artist said he tested positive for the virus.

“I am under the care of medical professionals and currently receiving treatment after testing positive for coronavirus,” he wrote on social media. “We want to remind the public and all my fans to be vigilant, cautious and careful during this pandemic.”

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Diffie, a Tulsa, Oklahoma native, became a household name in country music with more than 20 Top 10 hits and 13 albums.

The country hitmaker had five singles reach No. 1 on the charts, including his major hits “Home,” “Bigger Than the Beatles,” If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets,” “Third Rock From the Sun” and “Pickup Man.” His last top 10 hit was in 2001, according to NBC News.

Diffie, who was a member of the Grand Ole Opry for 25 years and an Oklahoma Hall of Famer, wrote for other country artists like Tim McGraw and was notably name-checked in Jason Aldean‘s 2013 single “1994” and Chris Young‘s 2019 single “Raised on Country.”

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Man what a week Kenny Rogers and now @officialjoediffie. This guy was an amazing singer and an even greater person. Such a sad week for the country music world. Joe was always so much fun to be around and I will never forget our Panama City show with @tylerfarr and @therealtracylawrence                     </div>

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