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Still loving the stage: Diffie to play Palace

Joe Diffie, country music chart-topper will perform live at the Corn Palace Saturday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. (Courtesy)

At this point of his career, Joe Diffie has little to prove.

He's had five Billboard No. 1 singles, a handful of gold and platinum records and regularly lived in the top-10 on the singles charts in the mid-1990s.

But the 59-year-old said he still loves taking the stage. Diffie will play at the Corn Palace Saturday, back on the road and playing some of his greatest hits.

"In all seriousness, this isn't work for me," he said. "When you get in front of an audience and feel a vibe coming from them, you just feed off that. There is something very special about that. I love it and you can't duplicate that."

His hits include "Pickup Man," "Home," "Third Rock from the Sun," and "John Deere Green." He has penned hit songs for Tim McGraw, Tracy Lawrence, Conway Twitty, Hank Thompson and Jo Dee Messina, with plenty of fire left in his country soul.

The Oklahoma native might have been absent from the radio charts for the past few years, but Diffie never really slowed down—writing, touring and recording a myriad of projects including his critically acclaimed 2010 bluegrass album "Homecoming," and his recent "Roots and Boots" and "Country Unplugged" acoustic tours, featuring fellow hitmakers Sammy Kershaw, Aaron Tippin, Mark Chesnutt and other country greats.

"We have fun with that. It's been a combination of various artists. Mostly me and Mark Chesnutt, but we've also had Lorrie Morgan and Terri Clark join us," Diffie said. "'Unplugged' is a much more intimate show, with just a few guys and gals playing the guitar and singing about our personal lives."

And now he's back at it again, readying a new album for release in the spring of 2019, riding shotgun with hick-hop sensations the Jawga Boyz on a brand new single, "Girl Ridin' Shotgun," which recently hit the airwaves of country radio, or the second single that dropped this week exclusively on The Boot website titled "Quit You."

The lyrics of "Quit You" find Diffie singing about an addictive kind of love and were written by Danny Bell, Jeffrey East and Andy Eutsler.

"I heard the title and just thought, 'Everybody can relate to that', you fall in love with somebody and that's all you can think about," Diffie said.

Speaking of love; the 59-year-old country star shared another reason to keep going.

"Oh gosh. I just got married in May. You know, I got a new wife, a new house and all that. I just have to keep on working," Diffie said, laughing.

When Diffie finds some spare time, he likes to play a round of golf or hang out with family and friends at his home in Oklahoma.

"I don't know why but I love to cook," Diffie said. "Chopping up stuff, creating things. I love doing that. All my kids are close and I have grandbabies and the whole deal."

One of the few things left on his bucket list would be to have another hit or two on the radio.

"Well, at my advanced age, that would be kind of cool," he said, with laughs. "You get a little older, and they just don't play you as much on the radio anymore. I mean, I'm fine with that, but it would be fun to be back on that radio gig for a little bit."

For his upcoming Corn Palace show, Diffie will bus in his own band and crew to Mitchell and set the stage for what he calls a "regular show," which usually starts with electronic sounds, radio snippets, and harsh background lighting, building up a sense of nostalgia and anticipation in the crowd.

Diffie's show begins at 7 p.m. with tickets still available online or at the ticket booth for reserved seating at $30, $34 and $38 plus taxes.

"I have an incredible band," he said. "Super-talented guys that are dedicated to make the music sound like it sounds when you hear it on the record. I just always appreciate that. We're gonna have a lot of fun. Just come out and we'll have a blast."

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