Joe Diffie, 61, Dies Following Coronavirus Diagnosis

Grammy-winning country star and Grand Ole Opry member Joe Diffie died on Sunday, March 29, 2020 from complications of the…


Lauren Jo Black

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March 29, 2020

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Joe Diffie; Photo by Crystal K. Martel

Grammy-winning country star and Grand Ole Opry member Joe Diffie died on Sunday, March 29, 2020 from complications of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

His publicist confirmed the unfortunate news on Sunday, just days after his diagnosis was revealed to the public.

On Friday, Diffie’s publicist shared that the singer had tested positive for COVID-19 and Diffie released the following statement: “I am under the care of medical professionals and currently receiving treatment. 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.”

His family is asking for privacy during this difficult time.

Joe Diffie was a longtime member of the Grand Ole Opry and was best known for songs such as “John Deere Green,” “Pickup Man” and “Third Rock from the Sun.” His songs are often covered by rising country artists and his name is often dropped in songs by some of today’s top stars, including Chris Young in “Raised On Country” and Jason Aldean in “1994.”

Throughout his career, Diffie released 13 albums and earned over 20 Top 10 hits at country radio. Diffie was a member of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and was a member of the Grand Ole Opry for over 25 years.

Diffie is survived by his five children and wife, Tara.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.