US country star Joe Diffie dies after testing positive for Covid-19

Country singer Joe Diffie, who had a string of hits in the 1990s with ballads and honky-tonk singles like Home and Pickup Man, has died aged 61 after testing positive for Covid-19.

On Friday, Diffie announced he had contracted the coronavirus, becoming the first country star to go public with such a diagnosis.

Diffie’s publicist Scott Adkins said the singer, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, died on Sunday due to complications from the virus.

Virus Outbreak-Joe Diffie
Joe Diffie tested positive for Covid-19 (Al Wagner/Invision/AP)

His hits included Honky Tonk Attitude, Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die), Bigger Than the Beatles and If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets).

His mid-90s albums Honkey Tonk Attitude and Third Rock From the Sun went platinum.

A total of 18 of Diffie’s singles landed in the top 10, with five going to numnber one. In his 2013 single 1994, Jason Aldean name-checked the ’90s country mainstay.

Diffie is survived by his wife, Theresa Crump, and five children from his four marriages.