A force in country music during the 90s with his iconic moustache and mullet, Diffie made 13 albums with chart-topping songs such as "Pickup Man" and "Home."
The Tulsa native was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2002 and during his career as a singer-songwriter, Diffie earned many accolades including a Grammy and a Country Music Award. He was also a member of the historic Grand Ole Opry for more than 25 years.
Two days before his death, the 61-year-old star announced he had tested positive for , the disease caused by coronavirus.
"I am under the care of medical professionals and currently receiving treatment. My family and I are asking for privacy at this time," he wrote. "We want to remind the public and all my fans to be vigilant, cautious and careful during this."
As news of his death spread, tributes poured in from country stars across the nation.
"I'm devastated by the loss of my friend @JoeDiffieOnline. I can't find adequate words," tweeted Brad Paisley alongside a clip of him singing with Diffie. "But the records he made, that voice, the twinkle in his eye, and our memories cannot be taken away by this disease."
Paisley urged fans to "celebrate" Diffie's music today and listen to his records.
Carrie Underwood also shared her condolences online: "Absolutely no words for the loss of Joe Diffie. The music and legacy he leaves behind are legendary."
"My heart breaks for your family and friends — and fans," Keith Urban posted. "You were THE REAL DEAL JOE."
Trace Adkins called Diffie "one of the all-time GREAT vocalists" as he paid his respects to his "buddy" online.