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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nineties country-music hitmaker Joe Diffie died Sunday, March 29th due to complications related to COVID-19. The feel-good tunes that Diffie created continue to bless fans around the world. In all, Diffie charted 18 Top 10 singles, with the majority reaching the top five, including 1993 radio essentials “Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die)” and iconic song, “John Deere Green.” Diffie’s popular hits also include “Home,” “Third Rock From the Sun,” “Pickup Man,” “If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets),” and “Bigger Than the Beatles.”

Fellow artists mourn the sudden loss of their friend and recall fond memories that they’ve shared and will forever cherish with legend, Joe Diffie.

“Joe Diffie always had a ready smile and something good to say. Without a doubt, he was a great, natural country singer and his many friends and fans are going to really miss him. God Bless and comfort his family at this sad time. Here we are recording the CMA Vocal Event of the Year, “I Don’t Need Your Rocking Chair.” Rest In Peace, old friend.”  – T. Graham Brown

“The loss of Joe Diffie was a shock!! I was just processing the news that he was diagnosed with COVID-19 when in just a few days he was gone. Yes, his incredible country voice will be missed (I have been listening to him all morning) but man Joe was one of the good guys. He was always nice to everyone and everyone loved him. My prayers today are for his family and for John Prine.” – Joe Bonsall of The Oak Ridge Boys

“Sadly we lost another great country singer this week, my friend Joe Diffie… this time to the coronavirus – hard to believe. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Rest In Peace!” – Lee Greenwood

“Without a doubt Joe Diffie was one of the most authentic and greatest voices country music has ever known! A beloved member of the Grand Ole Opry, he was also one of the sweetest people on earth! Joe’s sudden departure is a huge loss and has left all of us broken-hearted and stunned. My prayers are with his family.” – Deborah Allen

“The voices in Heaven just keep getting sweeter. So saddened to hear of the passing of Grand Ole Opry Star Joe Diffie. One of Country Music’s greatest voices. The last time I saw Joe was in a Nashville restaurant. I am honored to have sang harmony on his #bluegrass CD. A song titled “Route 5 Box 109”. Our deepest sympathy for Joe’s family. Rest In Peace Joe, you’ve made it “Home.” – Rhonda Vincent

“I’m so saddened to hear about Joe Diffie. I worked shows with him on many occasions and what a great guy and great talent he was. Many prayers for his family & friends.” – Janie Fricke

“I am so shocked and saddened that Joe has passed. So tragic. Joe was a great singer and a great songwriter and I loved his records. I always loved the shows we played together and running into Joe at the Opry. I will miss my friend.”– Crystal Gayle

“My heart is battered and bruised today from the loss of two of my musical heroes, but I am trying to concentrate instead on the joy that they brought to the lives of their friends and fans. I had the honor of playing with Joe Diffie many times over the course of my career. Joe’s voice was the quintessential country voice.  He could tear out your heart, or he could make you forget your troubles for a while. When Joe sang a song, that song had been sung.” – Tim Atwood

“Rest In Peace! Another great one gone too soon! He was a co-writer on my new single that we have right now called “Love Me To Death”. So sad!” – Shane Owens

“So saddened by the passing of my friend Joe Diffie! His songs span my entire childhood into my high school/college years. I was just getting ready to write with him for the first time. So many prayers to his wife Tara and family!” – JD Shelburne

“As a classic/ 90’s country fan and lover of all things country music, it breaks my heart so much to hear of both Jan Howard and Joe Diffie passing away over the weekend. Country music fans all around the world are truly mourning more than just the loss of these staples, but the loss of these creative spirits still giving back to the unstoppable  machine that is country music. They will truly be missed, but their love for music will live on forever through the great lyrics they spent their lives putting their heart and soul into. God bless them and their families!” – Paige King Johnson 

“Tough times just got tougher with the passing of two great country legends. Both Jan Howard and Joe Diffie are icons in this genre. I’ll forever remember driving down the road with my father singing along to Joe Diffie. Such a tragedy, but thank you for the memories.” – Austin Merrill

Remembering Jan Howard

Chart-topping country leading lady and 49 year member of the Grand Ole Opry, Jan Howard, died peacefully on Saturday, March 28th at age 91 in Gallatin, Tennessee. In 1960 Howard relocated from Los Angeles to Nashville, where she began appearing on the Opry. Howard would sing demos of songs including “I Fall to Pieces,” a monumental success for Patsy Cline. Howard would also team with Opry star Bill Anderson on a number of duets, including her sole number one, “For Loving You.” After a recording career with Capitol Records, she was signed to Decca’s label, landing a top five single with “Evil on Your Mind.”

Friends and fellow artists mourn the tragic loss and recall precious memories with the timeless, Jan Howard.

“I am so saddened that Jan Howard has left us. Jan is one of the legendary artists who paved the way in country music for all of us ladies who followed. She has always been so nice to me and I always loved listening to her stories. We will miss you, Jan.” – Crystal Gayle

“Jan Howard was a great golf partner and friend. She was rare and feisty! The last time I talked to her was at church when she came to hear me sing. We will all miss her very much! Prayers for her family and friends.” – T. Graham Brown

“I had a chance to work with Jan Howard over the past few years donating our time and music for the Bluebonnet Youth Ranch fundraiser in Victoria, Texas. We all became close friends and I enjoyed her so much. This is such sad news about such a great lady.” – Janie Fricke

“So sad to lose two very special legends as well as the Opry family. Jan Howard was always such a feisty woman who took her talents to levels that even she never could have imagined. A great lady who will be missed by all.” – Joe Bonsall of The Oak Ridge Boys

“Jan Howard was more than an Opry icon and a great entertainer.  Jannie Mae was my friend for over four decades. If she loved you, she would give you the shirt off her back.  She was a talented artist, an American patriot, a straight-shooter, a class act and when I started out on my solo career she was one of my biggest cheerleaders.  I loved Jan Howard. I always will.” – Tim Atwood

“So sad to hear of the passing of Jan Howard. One of the Grand Ole Opry’s most talented and beautiful ladies! So proud to call her my friend! True grit and grace combined with her amazing vocal talent & stellar songwriting insured her iconic place in country music,a Grand Lady of the Grand Ole Opry.” – Deborah Allen

“This lady was a straight shooter. I am so lucky to have played in many celebrity golf tournaments with her, where it gave us the opportunity to have dinner and long evenings where we could visit. I loved when the Women of the Grand Ole Opry all shared one make up room. For a visiting performer to the Grand Ole Opry, this was one of the most amazing things to get to visit and share a dressing room with the Opry Stars. She was a real sizzler, who wasn’t afraid to zing you; but also surrounded you with her love and joy. So many great memories. Thank you Jan for your friendship. May you rest in sweet peace.” – Rhonda Vincent

“Jan Howard was such a great talent and I always enjoyed hearing her perform. Most definitely one of the greats of country music. Her Grand Ole Opry performances were always great as well. Another legend gone, but never forgotten.” – Shane Owens

“As an artist and as an avid fan of the Grand Ole Opry, I was saddened to hear the recent passing of Country Music Legend, Jan Howard. I learned of Jan’s music growing up in Kentucky and visiting with my grandparents through the years. What a legacy.  She will be missed.” – JD Shelburne