Randy Howard
Country singer Randy Howard, 65, was killed in a gunfight with a bounty hunter who was sent to detain him.Facebook

Country music singer Randy Howard has been shot and killed in a gunfight with a bounty hunter.

The 65-year-old, who was wanted on a drink driving charge, was fatally injured in a shootout with an official who was sent to detain him.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) bounty hunter Jackie Shell arrived at Howard's home on Tuesday (9 June) to take him into custody, however resisting arrest, Howard opened fire. Mr Shell fired back, killing the singer. Mr Shell was also injured during the gunfight and has undergone surgery.

Howard had been charged with a fourth offence of driving under the influence, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm while intoxicated and driving on a revoked licence.

A friend of the singer, Terry Dotson, told WSMV TV that he had tried to drive Howard to his court appearance, but he refused to attend the hearing. "He said he wasn't going back to jail. That's what he told me."

Howard was a member of country music's "Outlaw" movement, which rejected Nashville's polished music in favour of a rougher sound. He had shared the stage with the likes of Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams Jr and has written songs for Hank Williams .

Howard made seven records, including All American Redneck in 1983 and the self-titled Randy Howard in 1988.

In an interview in 1983, he told the Associated Press news agency that the term redneck - a derogatory term for poor, white rural southerners - does not have to be offensive.

He said: "It can be positive. When I play clubs, I ask if there are any rednecks out there. I get a good response whether I'm in New York or Miami."

Hank Williams III posted a picture on his Facebook page of him and Howard with the words, "RIP Randy Howard."