His publicist confirmed the death to Rolling Stone. Diffie was With a traditional-leaning voice that drew comparisons to George Jones, Diffie populated his records with honky-tonk ballads and lighthearted novelty tunes, earning the Oklahoma native five Number One singles in the first half of the Nineties. His father, who held jobs as a teacher, rancher, truck driver, and welder, had musical tastes that ran more toward traditional country, but Diffie learned about harmony singing by working in gospel and bluegrass groups, including, respectively, Higher Purpose and Special Edition. Diffie also played bars, VFW halls, and honky-tonks as a solo act in Duncan, Oklahoma, where he lived with his wife and children while working in a local foundry. He also partnered with his father to run a small recording studio. After the closing of the foundry and the dissolution of his first marriage, Diffie relocated to Nashville in , implementing a five-year plan to make it in the music business. There, he took a job with the Gibson guitar company and also began singing on countless demos and writing songs. Following moves to Monument and Broken Bow Records, Diffie signed with the Rounder label, returning to his bluegrass roots with Homecoming. Representative of his workingman persona, Diffie took a no-nonsense approach to his craft.
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This obituary is part of a series about people who have died in the coronavirus pandemic. Joe Diffie, who went from working in oil fields and foundries to becoming one of the most commercially successful country singers of the early and mids, died on Sunday in Nashville. He was
He was Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Diffie enjoyed a consistent run of country hits in the early s. He topped the charts with his very first single. Though he had numerous hits under his belt, Diffie truly hit his commercial stride in with the release of "Honky Tonk Attitude," his first platinum album. Chart success didn't follow Diffie far into the 21st century — his final top 10 hit was 's "In Another World. Diffie delivered his songs with a Southern grit that left a sustainable impact on modern country performers — " I got my honky tonk attitude from Joe Diffie," Chris Young sang on 's "Raised On Country. After releasing his last studio album, "All In The Same Boat," in , Diffie had reactivated his career in recent years. In , Diffie offered his on-air talent to Tulsa radio station Big Country Earlier that year, Diffie played the Opry to celebrate 25 years of membership, a night celebrated with songs and a slice of anniversary cake. As news broke of Diffie's death on Sunday, fans turned to the singer's classic songs on YouTube and streaming services.
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