Joe Diffie Dead, Country Music Star Dies At 61 From Coronavirus

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Country music star Joe Diffie, whose hits such as “Third Rock From The Sun” and others tore up the charts in the ’90s, has died of COVID-19, the respiratory illness that derives from the novel coronavirus, Rolling Stone reports. He was 61.

He Was Diagnosed With COVID-19 Last Week

CULLMAN, AL - JUNE 04: Singer/Songwriter Joe Diffie performs during Pepsi's Rock The South Festival - Day 2 at Heritage Park on June 4, 2016 in Cullman, Alabama. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Pepsi's Rock The South )
Featured image credit: Rick DiamondGetty Images for Pepsi's Rock The South

On Friday, The Associated Press reported that Diffie had tested positive for COVID-19. At the time, his publicist, Scott Adkins, confirmed that Diffie was receiving treatment from medical professionals.

“I am under care of medical professionals and currently receiving treatment after testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). My family and I are asking for privacy at this time. We want to remind the public and all my fans to be vigilant, cautious and careful during this pandemic,” Diffie said in a statement.

The AP also noted at the time that, for the vast majority of people who contract COVID-19, they will get through it with minimal symptoms or no symptoms. However, the press agency also said that older people, or people with underlying health conditions, are more susceptible to severe complications from the disease. Those complications can include pneumonia and death.

His Social Media Accounts Show How The Disease Progressed

TWIN LAKES, WI - JULY 23: Joe Diffie performs on Day 3 of Country Thunder Milwaukee on July 23, 2016 in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin. (Photo by Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images for Country Thunder)
Featured image credit: Timothy HiattGetty Images for Country Thunder

Diffie’s social media accounts give a glimpse into the progression of the disease in the performer’s life.

On March 18, Diffie, or an employee who manages his social media accounts, posted on Instagram that the singer regretted having to cancel concerts due to social distancing, and asked for prayers for himself and his crew.

Days later, he posted a statement on Instagram confirming that he’d contracted the virus.

Then on Sunday afternoon, someone with access to his Instagram account posted a tribute to the late singer.

View this post on Instagram

It’s with a sad heart that i have to post this. Tara

A post shared by Joe Diffie (@officialjoediffie) on

His Facebook account showed a similar progression of posts.

His Twitter account had been inactive since his last post on January 7, back before the coronavirus pandemic had fully exploded.

Diffie was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1958, into a musical family. By the age of 14, he was performing in his Aunt Dawn Anita’s country music band, according to his biography on Allmusic.

Diffie had at one time wanted to go to medical school, and had even earned college credits toward that goal, but instead got married, for the first time, and dropped out of college. He worked various jobs and worked with various local bands, before hitting it big in the ’90s, with hits such as “Home” and “If The Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets).”

Joe Diffie had five children from three previous marriages. One of his children, Tyler, preceded his father in death. In addition to his four living children and three ex-wives, Diffie is survived by his most-recent wife, Theresa.