Joe Diffie Mourned by Nashville Predators Player Matt Duchene: 'Can't Believe the News'

Joe Diffie, a country music star responsible for "Pickup Man," died on Sunday at the age of 61. He had recently tested positive for COVID-19, and his publicist confirmed that he had succumbed to the illness. This news was devastating to many of his fans, including Nashville Predators player Matt Duchene.

The Predators center reacted to the news with a tribute on Twitter. He revealed that he had listened to Diffie throughout his life. His father had introduced him to "Pickup Man," "Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die)" and many of Diffie's other hits. No longer having the singer around was stunning to the Duchene, as well as many of his peers.

"Grew up on @JoeDiffieOnline, my dad loved him and his music was always on in the truck... can't believe the news. RIP Pickup Man," Duchene wrote on Twitter.

The Predators center was among the multitude of prominent figures that wanted to pay tribute to Diffie in light of his death. John Michael Montgomery, one-half of Montgomery Gentry and a popular solo artist, also responded to the news.

"Just found out the very sad news about my buddy #JoeDiffie passing away from complications of COVID-19. This is so heartbreaking, I just don't even know what to say. GOD BLESS his family and loved ones. A sad, sad day for country music. Rest In Peace," Montgomery wrote on Twitter.

Several other country stars offered their condolences, including Blake Shelton, Toby Keith, Charlie Daniels and Rascal Flatts. The tributes continued with countless singers and stars reminiscing about Diffie's impact on music.

"As a huge fan and admirer, I'm really bummed to hear the passing of @JoeDiffieOnline
due to covid-19. My prayers go out to his family during this tough time. '..my footsteps carry me away, but in my mind I'm always goin' home.." Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson wrote after hearing about Diffie's death.

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According to CNN, more than 210,000 people in the United States have tested positive for the coronavirus and more than 4,669 have died. This includes Diffie, Fountains of Wayne member Adam Schlesinger, Star Wars actor Andrew Jack and a 6-week-old in Connecticut. The director of the CDC has said that an estimated 25 percent of people infected have not displayed symptoms and that the organization is rethinking the guidance for masks.

(Photo Credit: John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)