Justin Carter, an up-and-coming country singer, has died at the age of 35 following an accidental shooting at his home in The Woodlands area of Texas. The shooting occurred on March 16. His death was first announced on March 21. Carter is survived by his two daughters, Dixie and Kaylee.
His tragic passing was confirmed in a post on his official music Instagram page. The posting read, “Please Keep Justin’s Family In Your Prayers & Give Them Privacy In This Hard Time. Justin Is No Longer With Us, He Has Passed Away. He Will Be Missed By Us All, He Was Always Full Of Joy, Laughter, And Loved On So Many People In His Life. Justin Appreciated All His Fans And Their Support. Justin Loved All Of You. Thank You All For Your Support! We Will Have More Details Releasing Soon On How You Can Help Donate & Help His Family With Burial And Everything! Rest In Heaven My Brother!”
Information on how to donate to Carter’s funeral expenses can be found here. His family plans to bring Carter’s remains from Houston to San Antonio.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Carter’s Mother Said Her Son Was Recording a Music Video When the Accident Occurred
ABC Houston reports that the gun that killed Carter was being used as a prop in a music video. His mother, Cindy McClellan, told Fox News that the gun was in Carter’s pocket when it went off and shot her son “in the corner of his eye.”
McClellan told ABC Houston separately, “His music was his world. He was always there for everybody.” While speaking to Fox News, McClellan said, “He was a wonderful artist. He was the voice, he was the total package and we’re trying to keep his legend [alive]… He just loved music, he was very gifted and by God, his voice was spectacular.” McClellan added that her son wanted to be a success in music so that he could provide for his daughters.
2. Carter Had Been Referred to as ‘Next Garth Brooks
Speaking to ABC Houston, a spokesman for Carter’s record label, Mark Atherton, compared Carter to Garth Brooks. Atherton said, “Justin had a potential to, you know, in our eyes, and a lot of people’s eyes to be the next Garth Brooks.” Atherton added that Carter had just recently signed with the label and was about to embark on a 10-state tour.
ABC Houston reports that Carter could usually be found at the Enclave Recording Studios. The station says the singer’s label will be putting all of his unreleased material with the proceeds going to his family.
On an official bio, Carter listed Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams, Clay Walker, Garth Brooks and George Strait among his favorite artists. That profile also says that Carter’s passion came from “the sound of old country, and he clings to that feeling he gets when he hears it and tries to push that into his music.” Carter, according to that page, had just finished his solo album. Over a six month period, Carter wrote, produced and recorded over 30 songs.
A post published on Carter’s Facebook page shortly before the publication of this article read, “Nu Breed wrote a song in memory of Justin. It’s so beautiful! He is sending out a free download to everyone that makes their profile picture Justin’s logo! Comment done & inbox him! Thank you all for your support!.” Carter had recently released the song, “Love Affair” with Nu Breed.
3. Carter Said in a Facebook Live Video on the Day of His Death That the Song He Was About to Record Was Going to ‘Take Me Places’
In a Facebook Live video that uploaded on the day of his death, Carter discussed how his career was going before telling his audience that he was about to go to work. Carter said that he was going to be in the studio to record a song that he felt would “take [him] places.”
4. Carter Referred to Himself as Being ‘Texas to the Core’
Carter’s mother told Fox News that her son had been in the U.S. Army, but did not know if he would qualify for a military funeral. On his official music Facebook page, Carter said he was “Texas born and Texas raised country boy to his core.”
Speaking about his religion, McClellan told Fox News her son “was a wonderful person, very loving and he loved our God very much. He had a Bible in his room, in the den, he had one in his truck. He gave to charities.”
5. Carter’s Passing Has Led to an Outpouring of Emotion on Social Media
As news of Carter’s death spread, his fans and friends have taken to social media to pay tribute to the late country singer. In the comments section under the video for his song, “Love Affair,” one person wrote, “You will truly be missed brother fly high!!!!” Another person said, “So sad to see such a talented artist pass on so young. Rest in Paradise Brother.”
Here are some of the most poignant messages of remembrance: