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Joe Diffie Hits New Highs on Country Charts After His Death

He achieves his first top 10s on Country Digital Song Sales & highest rank on Top Country Albums.

Three classics by Joe Diffie — who died March 29 at age 61 due to complications from COVID-19 — debut in the top 10 on Billboard‘s Country Digital Song Sales chart (dated April 11).

“John Deere Green,” which peaked at No. 5 on the Hot Country Songs chart in 1994, leads the way, entering at No. 2 with 7,000 sold in the week ending April 2, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

“Pickup Man,” which reigned for four frames in 1994, bows at No. 5 (6,000) and “Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die),” which reached No. 3 in 1993, debuts at No. 7.


All three tracks surge from nominal amounts the week before (and were originally hits prior to the chart’s 2010 inception).

“Pickup Man” was Diffie’s most streamed song during the tracking week, drawing 2.9 million U.S. streams (up 276%), followed by “John Deere Green” (2.3 million, up 299%) and “Prop Me Up” (1.8 million, up 862%).

Diffie became a staple at country radio in the 1990s and posted 35 entries on Hot Country Songs (through 2004), including 17 top 10s, five of which hit No. 1.


On Top Country Albums, Diffie’s 16 Biggest Hits, first released in 2002, enters at No. 4 with 16,000 equivalent album units (up from 1,000) with 4,000 in sales. The set brings his best rank and third top 10 on the list. It’s his first top 10 since Third Rock From the Sun, which peaked at No. 6 during its 1994-95 run in the region.

Diffie also appears on Billboard‘s Social 50 chart for the first time, debuting at No. 25, bolstered by 224,000 Wikipedia views and 18,000 mentions on Twitter (with both totals up from nominal numbers the week before).