The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has hit home for Kalie Shorr, Sturgill Simpson, Ray Benson and more country, Americana and folk artists. They and others have all battled the quickly spreading virus.
Singer-songwriter Rita Wilson, also the wife of actor Tom Hanks, was one of the first within the Nashville music community to publicly disclose her coronavirus diagnosis. In fact, Wilson and Hanks were among the first celebrities to be diagnosed with the disease, while they were in Australia for filming on a movie set to star Hanks.
Wilson and Hanks revealed their COVID-19 diagnoses on March 11. In the weeks since, Shorr, Simpson, Benson, Laura Bell Bundy and others have all contracted the virus. Simpson and Benson, in particular, had trouble getting tested at first, they both shared when speaking publicly about their diagnoses.
Sadly, the coronavirus has claimed three stars: ’90s country artist Joe Diffie died on March 29, after revealing his diagnosis with the coronavirus just two days prior, and on April 7, folk icon John Prine died of complications from the disease, after being in the hospital since late March. On Dec. 12, a press release announced Charley Pride‘s death from COVID-19 complications, but did not disclose when he was diagnosed with the virus or other details of his death.
Here’s a full rundown of the artists who have battled the coronavirus thus far:
LOOK: Other Celebrities Who Have Been Tested for the Coronavirus