Joe Diffie, Grammy-Winning Country Artist, Dies From Coronavirus at 61

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Joe Diffie

He was a country neo-traditionalist whose everyman appeal led him to 17 Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in the '90s.

Veteran country artist Joe Diffie has died from COVID-19 complications. He was 61.

The Grammy and CMA Award winner died Sunday, according to his publicist. He went public with his diagnosis two days earlier.

Diffie was a country neo-traditionalist whose everyman appeal led him to 17 Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in the '90s. Diffie, who recently celebrated his 25th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, is best known for such No. 1s as "Home," "If the Devil Danced (in Empty Pockets)," "Third Rock From the Sun," "Pickup Man" and "Bigger Than the Beatles."

An influence on the generation that came after him, he had been celebrated in song by both Jason Aldean ("1994") and Chris Young ("Raised on Country").

The Tulsa, Oklahoma, native was also a successful songwriter, penning hits for such artists as Tim McGraw, Conway Twitty and Jo Dee Messina.

This story first appeared on Billboard.com.