Jon Pardi 'Happy' to Honor Joe Diffie During CMA Awards

Jon Pardi is one of the performers scheduled to take the stage during the CMA Awards on Wednesday night, performing in tribute to Joe Diffie, who died in April due to complications from COVID-19. Diffie was one of the artists Pardi looked up to when he was young, and he is honored to pay tribute to him during the CMAs this year.

"He was a sweet guy, got to hang with him a couple of times, it was sad to hear [when he passed]," Pardi told The Country Daily. "I will be happy to be waving the Joe Diffie flag and ’90s country at the CMA Awards. I’m excited. Just ready to go! Start rocking and pay tribute to Joe Diffie — he’s one of my favorites."

Pardi also told The Ty Bentli Show on Apple Music Country that he has been a fan of Diffie's music for "a long time."

"It hit me hard because I grew up listening to ''John Deere Green' and 'Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox,'" he recalled. "I've got the cassette tapes of Joe Diffie, was like, a Cup O'Joe, and it was really cool, from my grandma who got me into music, loved Joe Diffie. So before I really knew what the music business was and everything, I was rocking out to Joe Diffie about seven years old."

Along with performing, Pardi is also up for Album of the Year for Heartache Medication alongside albums from Ashley McBryde, Old Dominion, Luke Combs and Miranda Lambert.

"It's a great list. I'm honored to be a part of the list," Pardi said. "And I always say, if you can get nominated, it's almost harder than winning, because you have to get nominated and there's so many artists, and there's only what? Five slots? So I won a little bit, and now it's just hard. It's hard, there's so many great albums in that category. So like I said, a nomination is a win, and you just kind of take that and I will cheer on whoever wins."


Other performers during the CMAs will include Jason Aldean, Jimmie Allen, Ingrid Andress, Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne, Dan + Shay with Justin Bieber, Jenee Fleenor, Carly Pearce and Charles Kelley, Little Big Town, Old Dominion, Keith Urban, Morgan Wallen, Chris Stapleton, Gabby Barrett and Charlie Puth, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert, McBryde, Maren Morris, Rascal Flatts and Thomas Rhett with Urban, Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott and Chris Tomlin.

Aldean, Bentley, Brothers Osborne, Fleenor and McBryde will tribute the late Charlie Daniels while Little Big Town will honor Kenny Rogers, who also died earlier this year. The 2020 CMA Awards will air Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.