The world of music and entertainment has lost a legend.
“Joe Diffie passed away today, Sunday, March 29, from complications of coronavirus,” a statement read that was shared with E! News. “His family respects their privacy at this time.”
The hit-maker was only 61 years old.
The news of Diffie’s death comes a few days after he released a statement on Facebook about contracting COVID-19. According to Variety, he was the first country singer to go public with his diagnosis.
“I am under the care of medical professionals and currently receiving treatment,” his statement read on the social media platform. “My family and I are asking for privacy at this time. We want to remind the public and all my fans to be vigilant, cautious and careful during this pandemic.”
Joe was beloved by many in the music industry. He even released more than 20 Top 10 hits during his career. Some of his notable songs include, “Home,” “If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets),” “New Way (To Light Up an Old Flame),” “Honky Tonk Attitude,” and more.
Many of Diffie’s colleagues and frequent collaborators took to social media to express their heartache.
“Man what a week Kenny Rogers and now @officialjoediffie,” Jason Aldean shared on Instagram. “This guy was an amazing singer and an even greater person. Such a sad week for the country music world. Joe was always so much fun to be around and I will never forget our Panama City show with @tylerfarr and @therealtracylawrence …We will miss u my friend. Thanks for teaching us how to “Diffie” #1994″
“Beyond sadness. Beyond a loss for words. My thoughts and prayers for his family and fans,” Billy Ray Cyrus said in a statement shared with E! News.
Carrie Underwood wrote on Twitter, “Absolutely no words for the loss of Joe Diffie. The music and legacy he leaves behind are legendary. Prayers for his family and friends.”
“We are feeling it now. Oklahoma boy Joe Diffie has passed away from this virus,” Toby Keith expressed. “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.”
Granger Smith said, “Here’s to you Pickup Man. You inspired an entire generation of country singers and accepted us all with kindness, gratitude and buckets of talent.”
Diffie hasn’t been the only celebrity to be affected by COVID-19.
Earlier this month, Idris Elba, Prince Charles, The Bachelor‘s Colton Underwood, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson had all announced they were diagnosed with Coronavirus.
However, many stars have been healing, practicing social distancing and have started to feel better since being diagnosed.