Grand Ole Opry member Joe Diffie passed away yesterday


 at the age of 61 after being diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19) last week . Born Dec. 28, 1958, Diffie moved to Nashville as a demo session singer in the 1980s, was signed to the Nashville division of Epic in 1990 and released his debut album the end of that year. He charted more than 30 singles, including "Ships That Don't Come In," "Prop Me Up Beside The Jukebox (If I Die)," "If The Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets)," "Honky Tonk Attitude," "Third Rock From The Sun," "Bigger Than The Beatles," "John Deere Green" and "Pickup Man." Diffie won an ACM Award for his work as part of George Jones' Vocal Event of the Year, "I Don't Need Your Rockin' Chair," and he won a Grammy Award for his 1998 collaboration with Marty Stuart on "Same Old Train." He was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1993. Last year, Diffie began voicetracking middays for Griffin Classic Country KXBL/Tulsa (CAT 3/26/19). He is survived by five children and wife Tara.


"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
"I was saddened to hear that my friend and fellow Grand Ole Opry member Joe Diffie passed away today. Joe was a great singer, songwriter, and entertainer that left his mark in Country Music. His clear voice and unique singing style made him immediately recognizable. We will all certainly miss him."
-Ricky Skaggs
"Joe Diffie. A great friend. A great man. A great singer. A GREAT loss."
-Larry Gatlin, The Gatlin Brothers
"One of the best artists '90s Country ever served up. I worked fairs all over the country with Joe. It's sort of like losing a classmate. Recently he sang a song with me, Lorrie Morgan and Darryl Worley, 'Summer Wine.' It was a perfect performance. He never hit a bad note and was just a regular guy. We all loved him. RIP, Joe Diffie."
-Pam Tillis
"I'm so sorry to hear about Joe Diffie's passing. We always met with a smile and we'll see each other again with a smile."
-Doug Gray, The Marshall Tucker Band
"So tragic to hear that another great legend's voice has gone silent. He was and will remain one of country music's great vocalists. It's truly a sad day for our industry. Joe please tell our friends Kenny Rogers and Jan Howard we love them and to send down a prayer for all of us during this difficult time on earth. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Tara and their family."
-T.G. Sheppard
"I am deeply saddened at the news of Joe Diffie's death. He and I were labelmates on Sony Epic Records for many years. We worked together a lot over the years. I can honestly say that Joe was one of the truly good guys in our business. A real gentleman, and obviously, one of the greatest Country Music singers who ever lived.  His records, 'Home' and 'Ships That Don't Come In' are among my favorite records of all time. I am honored, and humbled, to have known him. May God Bless and comfort Joe's family and welcome him into Eternity. We'll miss you, Brother."
-Collin Raye
"I am in total shock and disbelief at the passing of my friend, tourmate and Country legend, Joe Diffie. My heart is broken and I'm praying for his family and for our country as we deal with this horrible pandemic. You will be missed, Joe. Rest in Peace."
-Aaron Tippin
"I keep saying almost every night on stage Joe Diffie is the best Country voice in Country Music today. Gonna miss Joe. God bless him. Love you brother."
-Sammy Kershaw
"I knew this was bound to hit close to home. Today it did. I just heard the news of Joe Diffie's passing. I am sick in my spirit because I can't bear the thought of not hearing that voice for a while. He was a dear friend and he understood me and my convictions. Most of all, he accepted me for who I am and I felt the same about him. There's no filling his shoes and he will be missed by many. I loved him like a brother, and I'm thankful that I know where he is. My brother, I look forward to seeing your sweet face again. Please pray for the family and loved ones devastated by this terrible loss."
-Darryl Worley
"Joe Diffie, he was a singer's singer. I have been a fan since his first single, 'Home,' hit radio. Condolences to the family. He will be missed in our hearts as well."
-Marty Raybon, Shenandoah
"So sad to hear the news of Joe Diffie's passing today. He and I were both born on the same day, December 28, 1958. We would always talk about that when we were around each other. Rest in peace, my brother. You will be missed."
-Mike McGuire, Shenandoah
"I'm so sad to hear of the passing of a brother in music, Joe Diffie. What a voice! We have worked around each other for decades. Really one of the good guys. I'm so shocked. Thoughts for his family, his team and friends from myself and the entire Restless Heart
-Larry Stewart, Restless Heart
"First we lose the legendary Jan Howard, and now we've lost Joe Diffie. It's a heartbreaking time for Nashville and Country Music fans worldwide. Restless Heart started out in the business around the same time as Joe, and our paths crossed many times over the years. Joe blended humor and music better than anybody, and he always went out of his way to be kind and supportive. Sending our love and prayers to Joe's family and friends."
-Dave Innis, Restless Heart
"I don't really know if people realize how great a singer Joe Diffie was. We were buddies before we ever had our record deals. He had a great sense humor. He proved that to me when he recorded a funny tune I wrote called 'Good Brown Gravy' and invited me to sing on the record with him. Joe Diffie set the standard for our Country sound back in the 90's. He was just a regular Joe, as he would put it, but he also will go down in history as one of the greats, I do believe."
-Billy Dean
"Joe was a simple man with a very kind heart. His aptitude and soulful command of a Country song was unparalleled. The memories of sharing the stage with him are indelible. We all love you Joe, and our heart breaks for you and your loved ones."
-Henry Paul, BlackHawk / The Outlaws
"His album, Average Joe, was not a made up record company marketing idea. Joe was common as dirt and he never changed. He always loved it when he and the Kentucky Headhunters got to play together, he always said we made the day fun for him. Here's to a real Country guy who could sing with the best of them. Peace, Joe."
-Richard Young, The Kentucky Headhunters

"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


"So saddened to hear the news of our dear friend, Joe Diffie. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Joe's family and loved ones during this time.".....EDDIE MONTGOMERY OF MONTGOMERY GENTRY


"I really stopped in my tracks for the first time when I got the news of Joe passing away. We spoke a week ago and he said, 'Don't worry, Colt, I'm gonna be fine.'" He was one of the best country singers I have ever heard, and an even better guy. Rest Easy, Joe."....COLT FORD


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