In 2013, Jason Aldean made the ’90s cool again with the release of a song called “1994” that paid tribute to the great Joe Diffie.
Written by Thomas Rhett, Luke Laird and Barry Dean, the song name-dropped Diffie and referenced several of his songs throughout the lyrics.
“1994, Joe Diffie comin’ out my radio/ I’m just a country boy with a farmer’s tan/ So help me girl I’ll be your Pick-Up Man/ How ’bout a night to remember and a fifth of Goose/ ‘Bout to bust out my honky-tonk attitude/ A little feel good you ain’t never felt before/ I’m talkin’ 1994,” Aldean sang in the chorus.
Upon the release of “1994,” Diffie admitted he was a bit taken back when he first heard “1994.”
“When I heard it, I was stunned,” Diffie shred with CMT. “I was like. ’You gotta be kidding me.’ It’s pretty flattering they went that far with it. It’s one thing to hear a song title or your name mentioned, but when it started into the ’Joe. Joe. Joe Diffie’ part, that’s cool right there.”
Like many modern-day country artists, Jason Aldean looked up to Joe Diffie as an artist and songwriter. Naturally, Aldean was one of the first country stars to pay tribute to Diffie on social media following his death on Sunday (March 29.)
“Man what a week Kenny Rogers and now @officialjoediffie,” the superstar wrote. “This guy was an amazing singer and an even greater person. Such a sad week for the country music world. Joe was always so much fun to be around and I will never forget our Panama City show with @tylerfarr and @therealtracylawrence ?…We will miss u my friend. Thanks for teaching us how to “Diffie”. #1994 ✌?”
Joe Diffie passed away on Sunday, March 29, 2020 due to complications of the novel coronavirus. He was 61 years old. Diffie is survived by his wife and five children.