Joe Diffie Sees Career Best Chart Performance After Passing

Country music seems to have been hit disproportionately hard when it comes to deaths and illnesses due to COVID-19, with the passing of Joe Diffie being one of the first big losses in music entertainment early in the pandemic. Combined with the recent passing of John Prine, and the non-Coronavirus deaths of Kenny Rogers and Jan Howard, it’s been a very hard few weeks in the country realm.

But if there was any silver lining, it’s that the signs are clear that fans are celebrating and remembering these important country music icons by purchasing, downloading, and streaming their music. Similar to Kenny Rogers seeing a spike in his sales after his passing, Joe Diffie has enjoyed similar attention as fans mourned the singer and songwriter’s death on March 29th at 61-years-old.

Joe Diffie’s 16 Biggest Hits currently sits at #4 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, as well as #38 on the all genre Billboard 200. Surprisingly, this is Diffie’s best showing of his career. Previously, his best rank on the Country Albums chart was #6 for his well-known 1994 album Third Rock from the Sun. The album also came in at #54 on the Billboard 200. This means Joe Diffie just scored his first Top 5 country album, and first Top 40 all genre album.

16 Biggest Hits also came in at #17 on Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart. The album logged 4,300 albums in physical sales, and songs from the collection received over 7.8 millions streams, giving the title nearly 15,000 in equivalent sales. But understand, since this is a compilation, these numbers are a little misleading. Since Joe Diffie has a total of six Greatest Hits albums out there, tracks on other compilations were also receiving spins, parsing Diffie’s performance on the charts. For example, his 2009 album The Ultimate Collection also came in at #81 on the Billboard 200.

As far as downloads go, Joe Diffie dominated this week’s Country Digital Song Sales chart. “John Deere Green” was #2 on the chart this week (#13 all genre), “Pick Up Man” was #5 (#19 all genre), “Prop Me Up Beside The Jukebox (If I Die)” was #7 (#25 all genre), “Third Rock From The Sun” was #17, and “Ships That Don’t Come In” was #23.

Though Joe Diffie is regarded by some as a product of his time in the early 90’s, his music has proven to have lasting power, and fans gave him a proper send off by putting his music in the charts once again.