Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Country singer Joe Diffie dies from complications related to COVID-19

'John Deere Green' singer was 61

Staff Report

NASHVILLE – Country singer Joe Diffie, who topped the charts in the ’90s with a string of No. 1 hits, has died from complications related to COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

The death was announced Sunday, March 29. Diffie was 61.

“Grammy-winning country music legend Joe Diffie passed away today, Sunday, March 29, from complications of coronavirus (COVID-19),” a statement released by his publicist read. “His family respects their privacy at this time.”

Diffie announced that he had been infected by the coronavirus Friday, saying he was receiving treatment.

“My family and I are asking for privacy at this time,” he said in a statement. “We want to remind the public and all my fans to be vigilant, cautious and careful during this pandemic.”

Diffie recorded more than 20 Top 10 country hits, five No. 1s:  “Home,” “If the Devil Danced In Empty Pockets,” “Third Rock from the Sun,” “Pickup Man” and “Bigger Than the Beatles.” His 1993 country-music staple “John Deere Green” reached No. 5 on the U.S. Hot Country Songs chart. He is one of the first entertainers to succumb to complications related to COVID-19.

It is not known if Diffie suffered from other health conditions.

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