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Country music icon Joe Diffie dies of coronavirus

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Grammy-winning country music legend Joe Diffie has died from complications related to the coronavirus. He was 61.

The news of his demise was shared by his spokesperson on Sunday afternoon, reports variety.com.

"Grammy-winning country music legend Joe Diffie passed away today, Sunday, March 29, from complications of coronavirus (COVID-19)," the statement read, adding: "His family respects their privacy at this time."

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On Friday, Diffie became the first country star to go public with a coronavirus diagnosis. "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," read a statement attributed to him.

Diffie, a member of the Grand Ole Opry for 25 years, is a household name to any country fan who came of age listening to the format in the 1990s. Some of his hits include "Home", "If the devil danced", "Third rock from the sun", "Pickup man" and "Bigger than the Beatles".

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After the news of his death, fans began posting a song that went to No. 3 in 1993, but became his most revived song upon his passing — "Prop me up beside the jukebox (If I die)".

He won a Grammy for Best Country Collaboration when he and others joined Marty Stuart for the song "Same old train". Diffie's final release with Sony Nashville, "A Night to Remember", was in 2001. He recorded a subsequent album for Broken Bow (2004's "Tough as Nails") and another for the roots label Rounder (2010's "Homecoming: The Bluegrass Album").

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