Country music mourned the passing of Joe Diffie, the voice behind hits like "Pickup Man" and "John Deere Green." The Grammy winner and longtime Grand Ole Opry member died Sunday from coronavirus complications at 61.
Charlie Daniels paid his respect on Twitter by posting the video of Diffie's 1993 song "Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die)." Diffie didn't write the song, but he made it his own with lyrics that included, "Just let my headstone be a neon sign / Just let it burn in memory of all of my good times." He sang. "I'll be the life of the party, even when I'm dead and gone."
"It’s such a shock and such a loss for country music," wrote Daniels next to a picture with Diffie. "Rest In Peace Joe."
RIP@JoeDiffieOnline - TeamCDB/BW#RIPpic.twitter.com/fujxFvoKOs— Charlie Daniels (@CharlieDaniels)March 29, 2020
Joe Diffie, one of our best singers and my buddy, is gone,” Tanya Tucker said in a statement. “We are the same age, so it's very scary. I will miss his voice, his laughter, his songs.”
"We are feeling it now," Toby Keith said on Twitter. "Oklahoma boy Joe Diffie has passed away from this virus. My kids grew up around his parents. My prayers will be with his family. A great traditional voice will live on cuz I’m putting his music on now. Here’s a beer to ya, Joe. Go get your reward."
We are feeling it now. Oklahoma boy Joe Diffie has passed away from this virus. My kids grew up around his parents. My prayers will be with his family. A great traditional voice will live on cuz I’m putting his music on now. Here’s a beer to ya, Joe. Go get your reward. -T— Toby Keith (@tobykeith)March 29, 2020
Carrie Underwood said she had "absolutely no words," adding, "The music and legacy he leaves behind are legendary."
And Keith Urban called Diffie, "THE REAL DEAL."
Brad Paisley wrote on Twitter that he is "devastated by the loss of my friend."
"I can’t find adequate words," Paisley wrote. "But the records he made, that voice, the twinkle in his eye, and our memories cannot be taken away by this disease. Please celebrate his music today everyone, go listen again to his records."
Friend and ’90s touring partner Travis Tritt wrote on Twitter, "This comes as a huge shock to all of us in the country music community."
"We had a lot of great times together, both onstage and offstage," Tritt wrote on Instagram alongside a picture of the two performing. "This is one of my favorite photos of Joe Diffie and me onstage together. This photo hangs in my office to this day. #ripjoediffie I will never forget you!"
John Rich of Big & Rich tweeted that Diffie, "was an artists artist. His music was honky tonk 101 if you wanted to be the real deal in our business. No one ever sang it better, and no one was ever more down to earth and caring for other singers.
Deana Carter said she was “shell shocked” by the news and had hoped to perform again with Diffie this year. “He was a powerhouse that stopped people in their tracks, both on and off stage,” she said in a statement.
"Oh my God. One of the all-time GREAT vocalists. Joe Diffie was my friend. RIP, buddy," Trace Adkins wrote on Twitter.
Author Stephen King tweeted his own tribute, saying "There's something women like about a pickup man."
"The soundtrack of every bonfire, parking lot, tailgate, jukebox, and cassette player back in high school," tweeted Jessi Alexander. "We’ll miss you, Joe Diffie. A legend gone way too soon. Country music won’t be the same without you."
Collin Raye tweeted that he was "deeply saddened" by the death of his Sony/Epic records label mate.
"I am honored & humbled, to have known him. May God bless and comfort Joe’s family and welcome him into Eternity. We’ll miss you, Brother," Raye wrote.
John Michael Montgomery called Diffie's passing "heartbreaking" on Twitter.
"GOD BLESS his family and loved ones. A sad, sad day for country music," he wrote. "Rest In Peace."
Contributing: The Associated Press