Country artist Taylor Dee died in a car accident last week, her agent told E! News. She was 33 years old.
The Dallas-based musician, whose real name was Taylor Dawn Carroll, died on March 14 at a hospital in Euless, Texas, according to a coroner's report obtained by E! News.
Euless Police Sergeant Scott Peterson confirmed to E! News that Taylor was driving her 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer on the State Highway 183 when she tried to exit around 10 p.m. "It looks like she made a last minute decision to attempt to go from the toll lane into the exit lane," he explained.
She made an "abrupt lane change" and then she crashed against a cushion barrier, per a police press release obtained by E! News. Her car flipped into the air, stuck a steel highway sign and landed upside down on the highway. Investigators believe Taylor was not wearing her seatbelt when the crash occurred, according to the release.
She appeared to be ejected from the car, according to Peterson. He said that her male passenger was wearing his seatbelt and was released from the hospital the next day.
Texas Newsroom reported that the passenger suffered a broken toe, but wasn't seriously injured.
The Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office is performing a toxicology assessment to determine if alcohol affected the crash, per the Texas Newsroom.
"Taylor caught people's attention everywhere she went with her large wild personality and charming smile," her agent Shai Berry said in a statement to E! News. "She blew listeners away every time she stepped in front the mic. The power of her beautiful vocals were felt deep within the soul. Her energy and passion were so contagious that she left every show with a new team of supporters and fans."
Shai continued, "Taylor adored her children, family, friends and fans; loving them with everything she had. Taylor Dee will be deeply missed by so many but her powerful voice and message will echo for eternity. Life is short, Live your dream, Laugh along the way."
Just two days before her death, Taylor performed at a concert at Rancho Loma Vineyards in Fort Worth, Texas. She wrote on Facebook ahead of the gig, "Y'all come see us tonight! We playin at this awesome place."
In 2019, she dropped her debut album The Buzz, which included the songs "Sawtooth," "Take Me Down," "I Hope You're Happy Now" and "Pretty Ugly."
Off the stage, she was mom to son Vayden and daughter River, who are both under age 13.
A GoFundMe page has raised more than $12,000 so far for Karla Terrell to help Taylor's family lay her to rest.
The online fundraiser called Taylor "a shining star who was going to make it in this world and chasing her dreams like the rest of us wish we could."
The page read, "She was a great mother of two beautiful children that she will be leaving behind. She could make you laugh about the craziest things. Her spirit was so free and she had a voice that the angels could hear. She had your back even when you didn't know it. Her laugh is something you can hear when she says LOL."
Organizer Brittnee Fulton added, "She will be forever loved and missed. She left this world sooner [than] any of us were ready for."
A native of Farmersville, Texas, Taylor was born on July 16, 1987. Her website notes that she "grew up in a broken home" with her older brother Chad and her mom. It reads, "Things were very hard for her as a child amongst all of the fighting between her parents, and her family being very poor…Taylor turned to music for healing. It became her safe place. She was very quiet and shy as a kid and just kept to herself journaling, writing poetry, and listening to all of her favorite artists."
She joined her first band, Chasing Highways, after graduating from high school in 2005. The singer auditioned for American Idol in 2009 and The Voice in 2015, but she "felt defeated" after "striking out again and again," before eventually releasing her first album, The Buzz, two years ago, per her website.
In a statement obtained by E! News, Linda Wilson, the president of the Texas Country Music Association, said Taylor "was the real deal," describing the artist as "a true talent with a heart and passion not only for her music but for people." Linda said, "In every performance, her talent was evident, but more importantly she allowed her fans to know her heart. She will be missed tremendously."
Taylor's single "Top Shelf Liquor" hit No. 27 on Texas Internet Radio chart in March 2021, prompting the musician to thank her fans: "I am blown away by y'all's love and support!!!!"
In February 2021, she opened up on social media about what her success in the music industry has meant to her. "Every since I was a little girl, I have dreamed of playing music, and putting music on the radio," she shared. "Never did I ever think in a little over a years time after the release of my album, The Buzz, that I would have 2 singles hit the top 100 Texas charts! I am so very grateful and blessed for having such an amazing team backing me and so many people who believe in me... We did this! This is a victory I couldn't have done without all of you."
The rising country star and her band Shots Fired won the Group of the Year prize for Modern Country at the 2020 Josie Music Awards.
Last month, Taylor announced to her fans that she was planning to release an acoustic EP soon, likely in September 2021. Why Would I features four songs she wrote or co-wrote, as well as one acoustic cover "that's going to blow your minds," she said. "There just might be a bonus track on there too!"
She teased, "This EP will be something like I have never done before. It will be intimate. It will be my stories. It will be me. I cannot wait to let y'all in to see another side of me, a more vulnerable side, and have truth to my stories. I will keep you updated and take you all on the journey with me as I set out to take on my first 'solo' project so to speak."
Taylor has said that her grandfather, Archie Carroll, was a touring bass player in the 1960s. "Makes me understand that this is not just something I stumbled upon," she explained earlier this year. "Music & Talent runs deep in our Bloodline and in our souls!!!"