Joe Diffie, Grammy-Winning Country Music Star, Dies at 61

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Mr. Diffie is survived by his wife, Tara Terpening Diffie; his mother; two sisters, Meg Prestidge and Monica Stiles; four sons, Parker Diffie, Travis Humes, Drew Diffie and Tyler Diffie; three daughters, Kara Diffie, Kylie Diffie and Reaux Terpening; and four grandchildren. Mr. Diffie’s first three marriages ended in divorce.

The brand of power country that he found much success with has lately been experiencing a re-embrace. Last year, Mr. Diffie, along with Trace Adkins, appeared on “Redneck Tendencies,” a song by the young country singer Hardy, and in 2013 he recorded a duet with the Canadian country star Gord Bamford on “Country Junkie,” singing, “I don’t think they’ve got rehab for being a good ol’ boy.”

But the clearest mark of Mr. Diffie’s legacy came in 2013, when the country superstar Jason Aldean released a single called “1994,” which emphatically invokes Mr. Diffie’s work and influence, name-checking several Diffie songs in the lyrics.

In the video, one of the dancers wears a T-shirt that reads, “Teach Me How to Diffie,” a play on the “Teach Me How to Dougie” dance craze and a nod to how Mr. Diffie would awkwardly shimmy a bit onstage.

Throughout the video, there are clips of almost all the country stars of the 2010s — Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, Lady Antebellum, Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line and more — singing to the camera, “Joe, Joe, Joe Diffie!”

That refrain became the title of Mr. Diffie’s final album, released in 2019.


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