“I am under the care of medical professionals and currently receiving treatment. 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,” Diffie said.
Known for such country-radio hits as “Pickup Man,” “John Deere Green,” and “If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets),” the 61-year-old Oklahoma native was one of the genre’s defining voices of the 1990s and an influence on contemporary stars like Jason Aldean, who shouted out the singer in his hit “1994.” He was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1993.
While Diffie is the first country artist to publicly announce that he’s contracted COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, the pandemic has wreaked havoc across Nashville and the country music industry at large. Artists from Thomas Rhett to Brooks & Dunn have rescheduled tours, albums like Margo Price’s That’s How Rumors Get Started have been delayed, and the 55th ACM Awards, set for April 5th in Las Vegas, have been postponed until September 16th.