Singer Retired to Join Police

Jeff Carson's hits include 'Not On Your Love' and 'The Car'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 27, 2022 1:10 PM CDT
Singer Retired to Join Police
Jeff Carson poses backstage at the Academy of Country Music Awards in 1996.   (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

(Newser) – Country music singer and songwriter Jeff Carson, who had a No. 1 hit with "Not On Your Love" before becoming a police officer, has died. He was 58 and died of a heart attack at a hospital in Franklin, Tenn., his publicist said. Carson was born Jeffrey Lee Herndon in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1963, a news release said. He sang in church and formed a band in Rogers, Arkansas, before moving to Branson, Missouri, where he wrote songs and played locally, the AP reports. Carson then moved to Nashville and recorded demos for Tracy Lawrence, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and other country stars.

Carson landed a recording contract at Curb Records in 1995 and released a single, "Yeah Buddy." He then recorded the singles "Not On Your Love" and "The Car," which charted in the top 5 and won Carson his first Academy of Country Music award for video of the year. Over his career, Carson had 14 singles on the Billboard chart, the publicist said. Carson retired from music to become a police officer in Franklin, where he remained on the police force. He returned to music in 2019 and released a previously recorded song, "God Save the World." He had since signed with Encore Music Group and was working on music with vocalists including Michael Ray and Darryl Worley, per the Hollywood Reporter.

Singer Bryan White said on Twitter that he was saddened to hear of his friend's death. "He was a tremendous singer and one of the kindest people I've ever met." The Franklin Police Department thanked Carson in a post for his "life of service & song" and said he "changed everyone he met, all of us, for the better!"

(Read more obituary stories.)

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