Daron Norwood, the singer of mid-90’s Top 40 hits such as “Cowboys Don’t Cry” and “If It Wasn’t for Her, I Wouldn’t Have You,” has died according to police in Hereford, TX, just west of Amarillo in the Texas panhandle. He was discovered by his landlord who had come by to check on him. No cause of death has been determined, but police say there was no evidence of foul play or trauma. He had last been seen on Tuesday night (7-21) with friends. Daron Norwood was 49-years-old.
Born in Lubbock, TX on September 30, 1965, Daron Norwood was signed to Giant Records in 1993 and released two records with the label, a self-titled release (1994), and Ready, Willing, and Able (1995). He registered a total of five charting Billboard Hot Country songs, with his biggest being “Cowboys Don’t Cry” at #24. Norwood was considered a top country music prospect at the time.
Daron played the Grand Ole Opry, and at moments in his career worked with big names such as Travis Tritt, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Alabama, Kenny Chesney, Mark Chesnut, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw, and toured all across the United States. He also co-wrote and sang a song called “Little Lost Boy” for Keith Whitley: A Tribute Album released by BNA Records in 1994, and made a remake of Merle Haggard’s “Working Man Blues” called “Working Elf Blues” for a Christmas album in 1995.
However severe battles with alcohol sidelined Daron Norwood’s country career. Characterized as taking as many as 20 to 25 shots of Jack Daniel’s a night, he quit country music in 1995 to try and get his life back on track. Afterwards he occasionally worked as a motivational speaker, and warned about the dangers of drugs and alcohol as part of his “Keep It Straight” program.
In 2004, Norwood was nominated for five awards, and was honored with the Song of the Year by the Inspirational Country Music Association with his song, “In God We Trust.” Darren released a new album in 2012 called I Still Believe on D10 Records, but the singles released from the album failed to chart.
Over the years, personal issues for Daron Norwood also made headlines. On April of 2008, he was initially charged with domestic abuse against his wife, but the charges were later dropped. There was also an incident at the Pandandle High School in Texas where during one of his motivational speaking engagements in 2009, authorities said he became irrational.
Daron Norwood was an example of a country artist whose talent was towering, but his personal demons made it difficult to stay on track. He leaves a musical legacy with fans larger than any chart numbers can portray.