Jeff Carson, Country Singer Who Served as Police Officer, Dead at 58

Award-winning country music singer Jeff Carson died at 58 following a heart attack. He was 58. The musician also served as a police officer in Franklin, Tennessee.

Carson died at Williamson Medical Center, public relations firm 2911 Media announced Sunday. He is survived by his wife, Kim Cooper Carson; son Dayton Grei Herndon Carso; his mother, Virginia Norton; brother Steve Henderson; sister Karen Spurlock; and several aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.

Carson was born Jeffrey Lee Herndon in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Dec. 16, 1963. He started his musical career singing in church. He formed his first band in Rogers, Arkansas, before moving to Branon, Missouri, where he began writing songs. After moving to Nashville, Carson began writing and recording demos. Reba McEntire recorded his song "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter," while Faith Hill recorded "It Matters To Me." Tim McGraw performed "I Wouldn't Want It Any Other Way." Diamond Rio recorded "Mirror Mirror." Carson wrote "I See It Now" for Tracy Lawrence and "Walkin' To Jerusalem" for Tracy Byrd.

In 1995, Chuck Howard helped Carson get a recording contract with Curb Records. His first single was "Yeah Buddy," and the follow-up single "Not On Your Love" became a chart-topper. "The Car" earned Carson an Academy of Country Music Award for Video of the Year.

In 2009, Carson stepped away from the music industry to serve as a police officer in Franklin. However, he returned to music ten years later, signing with MC1 Nashville. He scored a Music Row Top 40 hit with "God Save the World." His most recent recordings were with Encore Music Group. He recorded an upcoming album with Buddy Hyatt featuring duets with Michael Ray, Darryl Worley, Mark Wills, and Craig Morgan.

"So saddened to hear of the passing of my friend [Carson]," songwriter Bryan White tweeted on March 26. "He was a tremendous singer and one of the kindest people I've ever met. He also was a law enforcement officer who served his community bravely. He'll be missed dearly. I'll see you on the good side, buddy."

"The Academy mourns the loss of Jeff Carson, the chart-topping country singer. His 1995 song 'Not On Your Love' hit No. 1, and 'The Car' won Video of the Year at the 1996 [ACM awards]," the Academy of Country Music said. "Please join us in sending love and condolences to the Carson family."