Morgan Wallen, HARDY And Post Malone Pay Tribute To Late Joe Diffie With Epic Performance At 2023 CMA Awards

Wallen and HARDY kicked off the buzzed-about moment with Diffie’s 1993 hit, “John Deere Green.”

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Andrew Wendowski

Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

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Posted on November 9, 2023

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HARDY, Post Malone, Morgan Wallen; Photo Courtesy of CMA

In what will likely go down as one of the most iconic moments in CMA Awards history, Morgan Wallen, HARDY, and Post Malone teamed up for an unforgettable two-song tribute to the late Joe Diffie during the 57th Annual CMA Awards. 

Wallen and HARDY kicked off the buzzed-about moment with Diffie’s 1993 hit, “John Deere Green.” The spirited performance found the artists backed by Wallen’s touring band while in the middle of the Bridgestone Arena floor.

Next, the longtime friends and tour mates were joined by Post Malone for a rousing rendition of Diffie’s “Pickup Man.” Sporting skinny jeans, an orange jacket, and a trucker hat, the genre-bending star held his own alongside HARDY and Wallen as the crowd sang along in unison.

Watch HARDY, Morgan Wallen And Post Malone’s CMA Awards Collaboration Below

HIXTAPE Vol. 3: DIFFTAPE

Both tracks will appear on the upcoming HIXTAPE Vol. 3: DIFFTAPE, which will serve as a tribute to the late country music icon. Announced just moments after their CMA Awards performance, the project will release on March 29, 2024. To celebrate the announcement, two tracks, “Pickup Man” (feat. Joe Diffie & Post Malone) and “John Deere Green” (feat. Joe Diffie, HARDY & Morgan Wallen)” were released as a “Small Batch.”  

“The Diffie Estate is thrilled to partner with Big Loud and HARDY in preserving and revitalizing Joe Diffie’s musical legacy,” the Estate shares. “With their shared excitement and passion, this collaboration promises to carry on the incredible journey of a true legend.”

“I’m super excited about DIFFTAPE. I think it’s a one-of-a-kind project and we’re the first people to do something like this,” HARDY shares. “Especially having the original recordings and the fact that we have his family’s blessing to do it, it’s all really special.”

When Did Joe Diffie Die?

Joe Diffie was a longstanding member of the Grand Ole Opry who unfortunately passed away on Sunday, March 29, 2020, due to complications of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Throughout his career, he released 13 albums and earned over 20 Top 10 hits at country radio. His catalog of songs is most commonly known for tracks such as “John Deere Green,” “Pickup Man,” “Third Rock from the Sun,” as well as many more inspiring tunes that rising country stars continue to cover to this day. Listeners often hear his name-dropped in songs by some of today’s hitmakers including Chris Young in “Raised On Country” and Jason Aldean in “1994.”

Diffie was a member of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and was a member of the Grand Ole Opry for over 25 years. He is survived by his five children and wife, Tara.

Joe Diffie; Provided Image
Joe Diffie; Provided Image

2023 CMA Awards

Co-hosted by Luke Bryan and Peyton Manning, the 57th Annual CMA Awards aired live on Wednesday, November 8 on ABC (8:00-11:00 PM/EST). The star-studded show featured performances by Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Chris Stapleton, Jordan Davis, Cody Johnson, Ashley McBryde, The War And Treaty, Lainey Wilson, and more.

Always known for epic collaborations, the 2023 CMA Awards also featured a Jimmy Buffett tribute from Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Mac McAnally, and Zac Brown Band, a not-to-be-missed performance of country classics from Post Malone, Morgan Wallen, and HARDY, a performance honoring The Judds from Jelly Roll and K. Michelle, plus special duets from Carly Pearce and Chris Stapleton, Old Dominion and Megan Moroney, and Little Big Town with Tanya Tucker.

HARDY, Post Malone, Morgan Wallen; Photo Courtesy of CMA
HARDY, Post Malone, Morgan Wallen; Photo Courtesy of CMA

Paula Abdul, Bill Anderson, Nate Bargatze, Kevin Cahoon, Jordan Davis, Cynthia Erivo, Sara Evans, Brian Kelley, Lady A, Martina McBride, Parker McCollum, Craig Morgan, Darius Rucker, Corey Seager, Gerry Turner, Keith Urban, Hailey Whitters and Chris Young appeared to present during “Country Music’s Biggest Night.” 

Those who are unable to watch the show in real-time can watch the CMA Awards the following day on Hulu. 

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Written by

Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

See more posts from Andrew Wendowski