Morgan Wallen, HARDY, And Post Malone Steal The Show With Joe Diffie Tribute At CMA Awards
This two-song performance will go down as one of the most talked-about CMA Awards performances in history.
HARDY, Post Malone, Morgan Wallen; Photo Courtesy of CMA
In what will likely go down as one of the most iconic moments in CMA Awards history, Morgan Wallen, HARDY, and Post Malone teamed up for an unforgettable two-song tribute to the late Joe Diffie during the 57th Annual CMA Awards.
Wallen and HARDY kicked off the buzzed-about moment with Diffie’s 1993 hit, “John Deere Green.” The spirited performance found the artists backed by Wallen’s touring band while in the middle of the Bridgestone Arena floor.
Next, the longtime friends and tour mates were joined by Post Malone for a rousing rendition of Diffie’s “Pickup Man.” Sporting skinny jeans, an orange jacket, and a trucker hat, the genre-bending star held his own alongside HARDY and Wallen as the crowd sang along in unison.
Both tracks will appear on the upcoming HIXTAPE Vol. 3: DIFFTAPE, which will serve as a tribute to the late country music icon. Announced just moments after their CMA Awards performance, the project will be released on March 29, 2024. To celebrate the announcement, two tracks, “Pickup Man” (feat. Joe Diffie & Post Malone) and “John Deere Green” (feat. Joe Diffie, HARDY & Morgan Wallen)” were released as a “Small Batch.”
“The Diffie Estate is thrilled to partner with Big Loud and HARDY in preserving and revitalizing Joe Diffie’s musical legacy,” the Estate shares. “With their shared excitement and passion, this collaboration promises to carry on the incredible journey of a true legend.”
“I’m super excited about DIFFTAPE. I think it’s a one-of-a-kind project and we’re the first people to do something like this,” HARDY shares. “Especially having the original recordings and the fact that we have his family’s blessing to do it, it’s all really special.”
Joe Diffie was a longstanding member of the Grand Ole Opry who unfortunately passed away on Sunday, March 29, 2020, due to complications of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Throughout his career, he released 13 albums and earned over 20 Top 10 hits at country radio. His catalog of songs is most commonly known for tracks such as “John Deere Green,” “Pickup Man,” “Third Rock from the Sun,” as well as many more inspiring tunes that rising country stars continue to cover to this day. Listeners often hear his name dropped in songs by some of today’s hitmakers including Chris Young in “Raised On Country” and Jason Aldean in “1994.”
Diffie was a member of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and was a member of the Grand Ole Opry for over 25 years. He is survived by his five children and wife, Tara.
Co-hosted by Luke Bryan and Peyton Manning, the 57th Annual CMA Awards aired live on Wednesday, November 8 on ABC (8:00-11:00 PM/EST). The star-studded show featured performances by Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Chris Stapleton, Jordan Davis, Cody Johnson, Ashley McBryde, The War And Treaty, Lainey Wilson, and more.
Always known for epic collaborations, the 2023 CMA Awards also featured a Jimmy Buffett tribute from Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Mac McAnally, and Zac Brown Band, a not-to-be-missed performance of country classics from Post Malone, Morgan Wallen, and HARDY, a performance honoring The Judds from Jelly Roll and K. Michelle, plus special duets from Carly Pearce and Chris Stapleton, Old Dominion and Megan Moroney, and Little Big Town with Tanya Tucker.
Paula Abdul, Bill Anderson, Nate Bargatze, Kevin Cahoon, Jordan Davis, Cynthia Erivo, Sara Evans, Brian Kelley, Lady A, Martina McBride, Parker McCollum, Craig Morgan, Darius Rucker, Corey Seager, Gerry Turner, Keith Urban, Hailey Whitters and Chris Young appeared to present during “Country Music’s Biggest Night.”
Those who are unable to watch the show in real-time can watch the CMA Awards the following day on Hulu.
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 Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. 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.