The American Idol alum took center stage on The Kelly Clarkson Show Wednesday (June 16) to pay homage to one of country music’s lost legends with a stirring interpretation of Diffie’s tune, “Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die).” Clarkson’s performance of the song was in commemoration to Diffie, who passed away at 61 years old last year.
The pop star began her tribute by putting an emotional spin on the 1993 track’s opening verses, singing, “Well I ain't afraid of dying, it's the thought of being dead / I wanna go on being me once my eulogy's been read / Don't spread my ashes out to sea, don't lay me down to rest / You can put my mind at ease if you fill my last request.”
Kicking things up a notch as her band Y’all entered the song’s honky-tonk chorus, Clarkson blows audiences over with her powerhouse voice: “Prop me up beside the jukebox if I die / Lord I wanna go to Heaven, but I don't wanna go tonight / Fill my boots up with sand, put a stiff drink in my hand / Prop me up beside the jukebox if I die.”
As country fans know, Diffie died from COVID-19 complications in March 2020. His wife, Tara, confirmed the unfortunate news just days after Diffie released a statement disclosing his diagnosis.
"I am under the care of medical professionals and currently receiving treatment after testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). My family and I are asking for privacy at this time," he shared at the time. "We want to remind the public and all my fans to be vigilant, cautious and careful during this pandemic."
Watch Kelly Clarkson’s Joe Diffie cover tribute below.