MARCH 30, 2020

JOE DIFFIE died yesterday because of complications from COVID-19.  He was 61.  It was only Friday that he announced he had tested positive for coronavirus. Joe had 17 Top 10 Country hits . . . and five of them went to #1.  Those were:  “Pickup Man”“Third Rock From the Sun”“Bigger Than the Beatles”“If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets)”, and “Home”. Some of his other hits included “Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die)”“John Deere Green”, and “So Help Me Girl”.  Joe also placed 12 albums on the “Billboard” Top Country Albums charts between 1990 and 2013. He was churning out hits while a lot of today’s country stars were growing up, and they still love the guy.  He got shout-outs in Jason Aldean’s hit 1994 . . . and Chris Young’s Raised on Country.  Joe was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 1993. His final album was “Joe, Joe, Joe Diffie”, which came out last year.  It featured new takes on 11 of his hit singles.  Joe was married four times and had five children.  He’s survived by his wife Tara.​ The shock of his passing yesterday hit the country community hard . . . and they paid their respects almost immediately.

1.  Travis Tritt:  “I’m so sad to learn that Joe has passed away.  He was a good friend and touring partner in the ’90s.  We had a lot of great times together.  This comes as a huge shock to all of us in the country community who loved Joe and his talent.”

2.  Jason Aldean:  “This guy was an amazing singer and an even greater person.  Joe was always so much fun to be around.  We will miss you my friend.”

3.  Chris Young:  “I used to drive back and forth from Texas to Tennessee listening to nothing but Joe Diffie songs.  I was lucky to get to know him.”

4.  Luke Combs posted a pic of them together and wrote, “Damn, this seems like yesterday.  Can’t believe you’re gone.  Rest In Peace, Joe.  You were a legend.”

5.  Brad Paisley:  “I’m devastated by the loss of my friend Joe Diffie.  I can’t find adequate words.  But the records he made, that voice, the twinkle in his eye, and our memories cannot be taken away by this disease.”

Country legend JOHN PRINE is in critical condition after coming down with it.  He’s 73. The virus also took the life of 69-year-old Alan Merrill, who wrote and sang the original version of “I Love Rock and Roll” in the ’70s. And British Prime Minister BORIS JOHNSON is in self-isolation after becoming the first world leader to test positive.

In the sports world, NBA announcer DORIS BURKE tested positive for the coronavirus . . . and former Major League outfielder JIM EDMONDS has been tested and is awaiting his results. Meanwhile, JON BON JOVI thinks his 17-year-old son may have had a mild version of COVID-19.​

 

It’s going to be harder to keep up with KOURTNEY KARDASHIAN, because she claims she’s left “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”. On Twitter, a fan called her out, saying, quote, “[Kourtney] just needs to quit the show!  I’m over her not wanting to film,” and Kourtney responded, “I did.  Bye.”  E! hasn’t confirmed her departure yet.  Of course, it’s hard to trust ANY drama involving the Kardashians . . . but all this is supposedly fall-out from a fight she and Kim had on last week’s episode.

Here’s some good news to start your week with:  TOM HANKS and RITA WILSON have apparently beaten the coronavirus, because they’re back in the U.S.

Tom Tweeted, q”Hey, Folks . . . We’re home now and, like the rest of America, we carry on with sheltering in place and social distancing. “Many, many thanks to everyone in Australia who looked after us.  Their care and guidance made possible our return to the USA.  And many thanks to all of you who reached out with well wishes.  Rita and I so appreciate it.” Tom and Rita are both 63.  They announced their diagnosis on March 12th while they were in Australia.  But the government over there thinks they contracted the virus either here in America, or on their way over.

A lot of people have been concerned about BETTY WHITE this month, because she’s 98, and the coronavirus is running rampant.  Her name has even trended on social media at times, with people wondering how she’s doing.And she’s FINE.  According to TMZ, Betty is safe and relaxing at home, and she’s taking the proper precautions.  So no, she’s not out on the town in Los Angeles. Sources say she’s self-isolating at her estate.  She has very limited in-person interactions, and she’s only coming in contact with a few equally cautious people, who are handling all her important errands, like grocery runs.​

BOBBY FLAY is worth $60 million, but he’s decided to ask Americans to help him pay his staff while his restaurants are closed for the pandemic.  He set up a GoFundMe campaign, asking for $100,000.

If you’re not watching the Netflix docuseries “Tiger King”, you’re wasting a perfectly good quarantine.  It’s only seven episodes . . . and when you finish it, you wish there were 75 more. ACARDI B watched it, and not surprisingly, she has thoughts.  Like, she wants to start a GoFundMe to get the star of the show, JOE EXOTIC, out of prison.  He’s serving 22 years for animal abuse and trying to have a rival killed. She Tweeted, quote, “They did Joe so dirty over and over again.” Cardi also seems to believe that said rival, one CAROLE BASKIN, did indeed murder her husband and feed him to her big cats, as Joe and several others in the documentary claim. Speaking of Joe . . . did you know he didn’t actually write or record the songs in those silly music videos he made?  They were actually done by a duo called the Clinton Johnson Band. One of them has passed away, but the other is hoping the exposure from “Tiger King” might get him a record deal. One last note:  Joe’s ex-husband JOHN FINLAY got some new teeth.​

BOB DYLAN released his first original song in 8 years.  It’s a 17-minute song about the JFK assassination.  It’s called “Murder Most Foul”.

JOHN KRASINSKI has launched a YouTube show called “Some Good News”, dedicated to nothing but good news.  On the first episode, he interviewed his “Office” co-star STEVE CARELL.

David Schramm, a stage actor who was also a star on the NBC comedy “Wings,” has died. He was 73. Schramm was a founding member of New York’s The Acting Company, which announced the news of his death on Sunday. He played Roy Biggins, the rival airline owner on “Wings,” and appeared in all 172 episodes between 1990 and 1997. ​

“Grey’s Anatomy” is getting a shortened season due to the coronavirus.

Delivering her first child was not exactly a straightforward process for Maren Morris. In an impassioned Instagram post on Friday — her first since announcing the Monday arrival of her and husband Ryan Hurd’s son Hayes Andrew — She revealed that she endured “30 hours of labor” that “ended with an emergency c-section.” “Not what we planned but I learned pretty quickly that night that having a plan for bringing a human into the world is a fool’s errand,” Morris, 29, continued in her caption alongside a sweet photo of baby Hayes looking right into the camera as Hurd held his son in his arms. “All that mattered was that he got here safely. “Having him in the middle of a global health crisis was also not in the baby prep books, but here we are. Holding him and healing my body in a maternity ward that’s eerily quiet from us not being allowed visitors or family at this time, but strangely serene. All we hear are monitors beeping and the coos of our infant son,” Morris wrote. “Maybe the sound of the 100th episode of The Office @ryanhurd and I have binged while in here.”​

DOLLY PARTON is sheltering in place, but still looking on the sunny side.  She posted a video on Twitter asking us to, quote, “keep the faith, don’t be too scared.  It’s gonna be alright, God loves us.”

The late KENNY ROGERS is #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart for the first time since 1986.  “The Best of Kenny Rogers: Through the Years” has debuted at Number One.​

John Callahan, best known for All My Children, has died. His death was revealed by his ex-wife, fellow actress Eva LaRue, who on Saturday afternoon posted a tribute via Instagram. He was 66. No cause of death was given. ​His additional TV credits included ‘Desperate Housewives’ and ‘Days of our Lives.’​

Thomas Rhett is 30.

Justin Moore is 36.

Mark Consuelos is 49

Celine Dion is 52.

Piers Morgan is 55.

Paul Reiser is 63.

Eric Clapton is 75.

Warren Beatty is 83.

John Astin is 90.

Peter Marshall is 94.

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