Health & Wellness

Legendary artists succumb to virus

Ron Hartman

You know the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting close to home when it starts claiming our stage heroes.

Country artist Joe Diffie, who announced on Friday that he was being treated for coronavirus symptoms, died Sunday. He was 61. 

Diffie had five No. 1 hit singles during the 90s, including “Pickup Man” and “John Deere Green.”

In 1993 he was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, and in ’98 he won a Grammy for collaborating with Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Clint Black and others in “Same Old Train.”

When news broke of Diffie’s passing, many fans started streaming “Prop Me Up Next To The Jukebox (When I Die)” — a song Diffie didn’t write, but one he turned into his own.

“Just let my headstone be a neon sign

Just let it burn in memory of all of my good times

I’ll be the life of the party, 

even when I’m dead and gone.”

Folk singer John Prine has survived two battles with cancer. Now he’s trying to survive a bout with coronavirus. Prine has been hospitalized in critical condition, suffering from COVID-19 symptoms, according to a statement from his family. A report on Tuesday said he was feeling better.

“After a sudden onset of COVID-19 symptoms, John was hospitalized on Thursday (3/26),” the family statement reads. “He was intubated Saturday evening, and continues to receive care, but his situation is critical.”

“This is hard news for us to share. But so many of you have loved and supported John over the years, we wanted to let you know, and give you the chance to send on more of that love and support now,” the statement continues. “And know that we love you, and John loves you.”

Earlier this month, Prine’s wife, Fiona, announced she had tested positive for the virus. John had been tested as well and she said his results came back “indeterminate.”

Who says you need to leave the comfort of your living room to be a performer?

Entries are available for the Stay Home Talent Show at the Hult Center, in which entrants may submit videos no longer than three minutes to be considered for the People’s Choice award. The contest is open to all performers, including musicians, actors, singers, dancers and comedians. Finalists will then be announced on April 13, 2020, followed by a People’s Choice run-off. 

The Hult Center is encouraging any performers who have been affected by the recent event ban to participate so the community can celebrate their hard work and talent. Participants are encouraged to get creative and find ways to collaborate while maintaining all CDC safe distancing protocols. That said, this is the arts, so extra points will be awarded for creativity, flair and style.

Call Rich Hobby, director of marketing, at (541) 682-8413 for more details.

Contact Ron by email at: [email protected]



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