Country singer Daron Norwood, 49, was found dead in his Texas apartment on Wednesday afternoon, according to local police.
Hereford police spokesman Captain Kirsten Williams said that Norwood, who rose to fame in the mid-90’s, was found unresponsive in his bedroom after a night out with friends earlier this week. Norwood’s death is still under investigation although authorities have stated that they do not expect foul play. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Norwood’s Landlord Found His Body on Wednesday
According to multiple reports, Norwood was last seen out on Tuesday night with his friends but after not not being heard from for several hours, those close to the country singer began to worry.
His landlord stopped to check in on him on Wednesday afternoon and, after letting himself into the apartment, found Norwood unresponsive in his bedroom. Hereford Police Chief Brent Harrison told E! News that officers and medical personnel responded to call about an unresponsive individual around 2 p.m. on Wednesday. Norwood was already dead when they arrived.
2. Police Said They Do Not Suspect Foul Play
Harrison added that police do not suspect any foul play in Norwood’s death, releasing a statement to media outlets:
On arrival, Daron Norwood, age 49, was found in the bedroom of the apartment, deceased. No signs of foul play were observed and the incident remains under investigation.
Norwood had grown up in Tahoka, Texas before moving to Nashville in 1988 to pursue a career in country music. He signed to Giant Records in 1993.
3. Norwood Previously Battled Drug & Alcohol Problems
Although he enjoyed moderate success on the country music circuit, Norwood faced a handful of demons throughout his career, including a public battle with both drugs and alcohol that eventually forced him to walk away from Nashville.
Near the end of his, as he called them, “drinkin’ days,” Norwood had 25 shots of Jack Daniels in one night and realized, quite quickly, that he needed to make a change. Norwood detailed his struggles in an in-depth interview with Country Weekly in 2002 and credited his wife, Kim, with helping turn his life around. He said:
I didn’t quit on life. But I quit the bus, I quit the band, I quit the record deal, quit the shows, the alcohol, the drugs. I quit it all with a phone call to my then-manager saying, ‘I’m done. And I do mean done – with it all.’ I hung up the phone. And with that, I looked at my fiancee, Kim, and with tears streaming down my face, I said, ‘I feel so empty. I’ll probably never sing again.’ I felt as low as you could go. At that moment right there, she said, ‘You will.’
4. Norwood Released Three Albums During His Music Career
Over the course of his career, Norwood released three country albums and wrote several hit songs, including “Cowboys Don’t Cry” and “If It Wasn’t For Her, I Wouldn’t Have You.”
His self-titled album was released in 1993, followed up by Willing and Able in 1995 and then, after taking a self-imposed leave of absence from Nashville to fight drug and alcohol problems, Norwood released I Still Believe in 2012.
5. He Also Worked as a Motivational Speaker
After he left his career in music and refocused his life, Norwood looked to use his past as a means to help other’s future. He walked away from Nashville and turned his attention to motivational speaking, developing the program “Keep It Straight” with his wife in 1997.
The program focused on warning children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol with stops at high schools across the country. He told KCBD, an NBC affiliate in Texas:
I try to relate to kids right were they’re at. The mission statement of “Keep It Straight” is: change one heart, save one life and it’s worth it. From 1997 to 2005 it just evolved into being more of not just a show but something with passion something that goes straight to their heart.