Country singer Joe Diffie died Sunday, March 29 after battling COVID-19. At the age of 61, Diffie left behind five children, Tyler Diffie, Kara Diffie, Kylie Tarissa, Drew Diffie and Parker Diffie, as well as his wife Theresa Crump.
Diffie gained some inspiration for his music from his father, whose musical preferences included traditional country, much of which can be heard in his songs. Diffie also drew a lot of his background in music through participating in gospel and bluegrass groups.
The American celebrity reached the most success in the ’90s. His work included 13 albums and hisTop Five songs listed on Spotify are “Pickup Man,” “I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair,” “John Deere Green,” “Same Old Train” and “Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox.”
His appearance was as country as it comes, rocking a gray mullet, mustache and a beer gut later in life. Diffie’s 90s country was known for its light-heartedness, with lyrics describing pickup trucks, the men that drive them and tractors.
In “Pickup Man,” one line says, “When I turned sixteen I saved a few hundred bucks/My first car was a pickup truck.” Fans could relate to Diffie’s song as they remembered being sixteen-year-old boys themselves.
In 1993, Diffie’s duet “Not Too Much to Ask” with Mary Chapin Carpenter was nominated for a Grammy. Later, the song “Same Old Train” won a Grammy Award in 1998. The track included other artists, such as Merle Haggard, Randy Travie and Clint Black.
Diffie rose to fame with 20 of his songs making it to Top 10 Hits. The well-known country singer Jason Aldean even quoted Diffie in his song from 2012, “1994.” Aldean’s songs addressed him, saying “Joe, Joe, Joe, Diffie!”
Travis Tritt tweeted his condolences on Twitter to Diffie’s family, friends and fans.
Diffie not only entertained and inspired his fans with his music, but he also set the stage for many modern country singers today.
To listen to Diffie’s songs, click here.
Story by: Elizabeth Armstrong
Photos courtesy of nytimes.com