The troubled life of country singer Mindy McCready has come to a tragic end. She was 37.
Sheriff's deputies in Cleburne County, Arkansas are confirming the singer's death, saying McCready was found inside her home in Heber Springs Sunday, and that it appeared she died from a single gun shot wound to the head. Her body has been sent to the State Crime unit. No other details have been released.
The 37-year-old singer has had a long history of personal struggle. She had been in and out of rehab while battling addiction and mental health issues. McCready was being treated at a facility earlier this month before she was released to an outpatient program. Her death comes one month after the January 13th death of her boyfriend, David Wilson, 34, at his Arkansas home. Authorities are still investigating his death.Mindy leaves behind two young sons: 6-year-old Zander (with ex Billy McKnight) and 9-month-old Zayne (with Wilson).
Mindy McCready moved from her hometown of Fort Myers, Florida at the age of 18 to launch her country music career. She scored a top ten hit with her first single, "Ten Thousand Angels," which was the title track to her 1996 debut album. The CD also featured Mindy's first chart-topper, "Guys Do It All The Time" as well as the 1997 hit "A Girl's Gotta Do (What A Girl's Gotta Do)." The album went double platinum. McCready's next two albums, 1997's If I Don't Stay the Night and 1999's I'm Not So Tough both cracked the top ten, but the country star never matched the success of her first studio effort.
As the years progressed, Mindy began making more headlines for her turbulent personal life than for her music. In 2004 McCready was arrested on drug charges and put on probation after pleading guilty. But she ended up in jail more than once on probation violations. In May 2005, McCready's ex-boyfriend, Billy McKnight, was arrested for attempted murder after a brutal attack on the singer. In the months that followed, McCready was twice hospitalized following suicide attempts, the second of which occurred after she learned she was pregnant with McKnight's child. She gave birth to son Zander in March 2006. In 2008, McCready came forward with allegations that she'd had an affair with baseball great Roger Clemens when she was just 15 years old. Clemens denied McCready's claims.
McCready's legal and substance abuse problems led to her losing custody of Zander, who was placed with her mom in Florida. Mindy spent years battling her parents for custody, which she eventually won in late 2011 - after taking the boy from her father's home and hiding out with him at boyfriend David Wilson's Arkansas home. Last April she and Wilson celebrated the birth of their son, Zayne. McCready attempted to relaunch her music career in 2010 with I'm Still Here, her first studio effort in eight years. The album peaked at number 71 on the chart, and neither single from the disc charted.
A close family friend of Mindy McCready has informed me that the country singer has committed suicide. Not confirmed with OFFICIALS. #Sad— Stacy McCloud (@stacymccloud) February 18, 2013
The Mindy McCready suicide I told you about has now been confirmed from 4 different sources. A statement from the family is in the works— Stacy McCloud (@stacymccloud) February 18, 2013
Dateline NBC reporter Andrea Canning also reported the news via Twitter:
Just got a call from Mindy McCready's best friend that she shot and killed herself this evening.My heart breaks for her two boys.RIP— Andrea Canning (@CanningAndrea) February 18, 2013
"Ms. McCready was pronounced dead at the scene from what appears to be a single self-inflicted gunshot wound," the sheriff's department said in a statement. "At this time family members have been notified of the incident. Ms. Mcready will be transported to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for an autopsy and the matter will be fully investigated."
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