The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is looking into the circumstances of the shooting of Randy Howard, 65, said spokesman Josh DeVine.
Howard was a member of country music’s “Outlaw” movement, which rejects Nashville’s polished music in favour of a rougher sound.
Howard shared the stage with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams Jr, and wrote songs for Hank Williams III, according to Howard’s LinkedIn site.
Hank Williams III posted a picture on his Facebook page of him and Howard smiling together, under the words, “RIP Randy Howard”.
Howard had been charged with offences including possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a firearm while intoxicated and driving on a revoked licence, Mr DeVine said. He had also had missed a recent court appearance.
“He said he wasn’t going back to jail,” said Howard’s friend Terry Dotson, who added that he tried to drive Howard to his court appearance, but the singer had brushed him off.