Former NFL kicker Rob Bironas had taken interest in writing songs for famous country hitmakers prior to his tragic death in Nashville on Sept. 20.

Many well-known stars and songwriters have expressed shock and grief in the days since the car accident that took his life. Newcomer Dean Alexander tells Taste of Country that the Tennessee Titans player's true passion was writing.

"I think that was just his side job, the kicking," a distraught Alexander reveals. "He’d loved music."

“We had a little circle of guys that he hung out with," the 'Live a Little' singer adds. "Lee Brice, David Tolliver and myself -- there was a bunch of us.”

Bironas married country newcomer Rachel Bradshaw in June. Alexander says that was no coincidence -- the two had plenty in common, including a love of music.

Adds the singer of Bironas, "He had a big interest in writing."

Carrie Underwood, Josh Turner and Charlie Daniels are just a few of the artists who've expressed their sadness following the event that took the NFL star's life. "I miss my friend @RobBironas," Tolliver wrote on Twitter on Monday.

In 2009, Bironas teamed up with famous songwriters like Dallas Davidson and Jamey Johnson for a songwriting event in Nashville that benefited the Rob Bironas Fund. The charity sought to bring local school children together with musical opportunities. That night, over $5,000 was raised by passing a tip jar. During his time in Tennessee, Bironas was very active in the music scene.

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