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Grammy-winning country music star dies after contracting coronavirus

Grammy-winning country music star Joe Diffie has died two days after revealing he had contracted coronavirus.

The 61-year-old had a string of hits in the US in the 1990s and had two albums that went platinum.

On Friday, he announced he had tested positive for COVID-19 – the first country music star to go public with such a diagnosis.

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 13: (FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY)  Joe Diffie attends the 53nd annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
Image: Diffie pictured attending the 2019 Country Music Awards

Diffie’s publicist Scott Adkins said the singer, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, died on Sunday due to complications from the virus.

The US has the most coronavirus cases in the world, with more than 136,000 suspected and confirmed infections, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the outbreak.

More than 2,400 people who have contracted COVID-19 have died in the US.

Diffe’s hits included Honky Tonk Attitude, Prop Me Up Beside The Jukebox (If I Die), Bigger Than The Beatles and If The Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets).

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MANHATTAN, KS - JUNE 28:  Singer/Songwriter Joe Diffie performs during "Kicker Country Stampede" at Tuttle Creek State Park on June 28, 2014 in Manhattan, Kansas.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Neste Event Marketing)
Image: Diffie won a Grammy Award in 1999

His mid-90s albums Honky Tonk Attitude and Third Rock From The Sun went platinum.

A total of 18 of Diffie’s singles landed in the top 10 in the US country charts, with five going to number one.

Diffie won a Grammy Award in 1999 for best country collaboration for the song Same Old Train with Merle Haggard, Marty Stuart and others.

His last solo album was 2010’s The Bluegrass Album: Homecoming.

Diffie is survived by his wife, Theresa Crump, and five children from his four marriages.

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