Joe Diffie has died after contracting the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). He was 61 years old when he died on Sunday (March 29).

Diffie's PR team shared the news of his death via a press release, which asks for privacy for his family at this time. Diffie had revealed on Friday (March 27) that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

"I am under the care of medical professionals and currently receiving treatment," Diffie said at the time. "My family and I are asking for privacy at this time."

Diffie's statement also urged fans to do all they can to stop the spread of the virus: "We want to remind the public and all my fans to be vigilant, cautious and careful during this pandemic," the singer added.

A Tulsa, Okla., native, Diffie was born on Dec. 28, 1958. He signed with Epic Records Nashville in 1990, after spending the 1980s as a demo singer. Diffie's debut single, 1990's "Home," earned the artist his first No. 1 song, which he followed with four more chart-topping tunes, including "Pickup Man" and "Third Rock From the Sun."

In addition to his work as a recording artist, Diffie also wrote songs for, among others, Tim McGraw and Jo Dee Messina. He last released an album, I Got This, in 2019.

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Diffie leaves behind his wife of two years, Tara, though he had been married three times prior. From his three previous marriages, he has five children: Parker, Kara, Drew, Tyler and Kylie, the youngest of whom was born in 2004.

Diffie, unfortunately, is not the first country singer who has contracted the coronavirus: Laura Bell Bundy revealed earlier in the week that she is sick with the virus, too, but appears to be recovering. Folk legend John Prine's wife Fiona, meanwhile, is isolating herself from her husband, as she has tested positive for the coronavirus and he is at a higher risk should he contract the disease.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only touched individuals, it's wreaked havoc on the entertainment world in general, with a tremendous amount of artists and festival organizers choosing to cancel or postpone tours and events for 2020. To date, there are 122,653 recorded cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States; 2,112 people have died of the disease in the U.S. alone.

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