Joe Diffie Dies from Coronavirus — inside Country Star's Personal Life and Death at 61

Oyin Balogun
Mar 31, 2020
11:00 A.M.
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Legendary Country musician Joe Diffie passed away on Sunday, March 29, due to complications from COVID-19. The 61-year-old was a shining beacon, and his legacy lives on.


Scott Adkins, who is the publicist of the iconic hitmaker, confirmed to Rolling Stone that Joe Diffie died on Sunday as a result of complications related to the Coronavirus. The singer is survived by his wife Tara Terpening Diffie and seven children from four different marriages.

Joe Diffie performs on stage at the Watershed Music Festival 2014 on August 2, 2014, in George, Washington. | Source: Getty Images.


Last week, the country singer who became famous in the nineties with a series of hit records, took to his Facebook page to announce to his fans that he had tested positive for COVID-19. In the post, he wrote:

"I am under the care of medical professionals and currently receiving treatment after testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19)."


Joe Diffie also asked that the public respect the privacy of his family and advised his fans to be "vigilant," "cautious," and "careful," as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage cities across the globe.

Recently, the late singer had to cancel some of his schedule shows due to the health crisis. Fans who were still feeling disappointed with the canceled show are now left shocked by the death of the nineties rockstar.

Joe Diffie performs during Pepsi's Rock The South Festival - Day 2 at Heritage Park on June 4, 2016 | Photo: Getty Images



In the wake of the shocking death of the country music star, fans and celebrities have taken to social media to pay tribute to the hitmaker.

Leading the line of tributes with a genuinely heartbreaking post, was Joe's wife of two years Tara Terpening Diffie, who shared the couple's last picture on her Instagram page. She captioned the photo:

"Our last picture together. I love you so much @officialjoediffie You were the love of my life."


Tara's post gained so many reactions from friends and fans of the iconic hitmaker who flooded her comment section with words of encouragement for the grieving wife.

Colleagues in the country music industry also mourned the loss of Joe Diffie, who is famous for songs like "Pickup Man" and "John Deere Green."

Charlie Daniels paid tribute to the late singer by posting a video of Diffie's 1993 song "Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die)." Accompanying the video, Charlie wrote:

"It's such a shock and such a loss for country music."


Carrie Underwood also paid her last respect to Joe, saying she had "absolutely no words," before adding that the music and legacy he is leaving behind is legendary.

A heartbroken Keith Urban called Joe "THE REAL DEAL," while Brad Paisley wrote on Twitter that he was devastated by the death of his friend. Other stars who paid tribute to Joe Diffie include Travis Tritt, John Rich, Deana Carter, among others.



He was born Joe Logan Diffie, on December 28, 1958, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The one-time foundry worker, who had a bold tenor and a wide-open vocal range, burst into the limelight in the nineties with a series of hit records.

It wasn't just about the music though for Joe Diffie as he put in a lot of work to carve a niche for himself in the country music industry.

The country singer once had to trim down his 5'10" and 260 lbs. stature to a leaner frame after being turned down by a record exec. who had concerns over his image.


Apart from his undoubted singing talent and dedication to work, Joe did enjoy a bit of luck in his career from the unlikeliest of sources.

After producing two of the best neo-traditional country albums on the market in the early nineties and also registering some radio hit songs, Joe's career started to fizzle out. Despite holding a lot of promise, his first two albums failed to live up to expectations.

An old scandal which involved dating allegations leveled against Joe Diffie and the widow of Davey Allison, who Joe met when he was called upon to sing the national anthem at the late racer's funeral, led to an upturn in fortune for the late singer.


The controversy led to Allison's widow and Joe becoming Front Page news material and a messy divorce for the latter.

Soon after his media affair, Joe Diffie's "Pickup Man" remained on top of the country hit chart for weeks, which was a rare feat to achieve at that time.

The singer's next two albums, "Honkytonk Attitude" and "Third Rock From the Sun," became million-sellers. The artist even went on to be nominated twice for the Grammy awards and won it for the song "Same Old Train" at the 1998 awards ceremony.



The award-winning singer has had some sort of roller coaster ride when it comes to his relationships. Joe was married four times and shared seven children with the four women in his life.

He married his first wife Janise Parker while in college, but they got divorced in 1986, after having two children, Parker and Kara. Parker later worked as Joe's road manager in the mid-2000s, and sometime in 2010, he and Kara sensationally auditioned for the American Idol.


In 1988, Joe got married to Debbie Jones, who was a nurse technician. Together they had two sons, Drew and Tyler; the latter was born with down syndrome. They finalized their messy divorce in 1996, after allegations of cheating on Joe's part.

Joe then got married for the third time in 2000, to Theresa (nee Crump), who he met at a concert. The two have a daughter, Kylie, who was born in 2004. They later divorced in 2017.

On May 26, 2018, the talented singer got married to Tara Terpening, at the musician's hall of fame in Nashville. The singing sensation officially introduced his new bride to his fans during an appearance on an episode of the "Bobby Bones Show."


We at do our best to give you the most updated news regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, but the situation is constantly changing. We encourage readers to refer to the online updates from CDС, WHO, or Local Health Departments to stay updated.Take care!