HEBER SPRINGS, Ark. –Mindy McCready, who hit the top of the country charts before personal problems sidetracked her career, died Sunday in Arkansas in an apparent suicide. She was 37.
The Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that McCready was found dead at a residence in Heber Springs from what appears to be a single, self-inflicted gunshot to the head.
It wasn’t the first suicide attempt for the troubled singer.
McCready entered court-ordered rehab earlier this month after her father told a judge she was no longer taking care of herself or her children and was abusing drugs and alcohol. Her sons were put in foster care at the time, but it’s not clear where Zander and Zayne were at the time of McCready’s death.
Melinda Gayle McCready arrived in Nashville in 1994 still in her teens with tapes of her karaoke vocals and earned a recording contract.
In 1996, her “Guys Do It All the Time” hit No. 1 and its dig at male chauvinism endeared her to females. Her other hits included “Ten Thousand Angels,” also in 1996, and her album by that title sold 2 million copies.
She spent the next 15 years chasing another hit as personal problems began plaguing her. Her problems included a custody battle with her mother over one of her sons, an overdose and discord in her love life.
McCready’s longtime boyfriend David Wilson, the father of her younger son, died last month in Arkansas. Authorities found his body on the same porch where they discovered McCready’s on Sunday, and his death also was investigated as a suicide.
Wilson’s passing struck McCready hard. She issued a statement last month lamenting his death. She called him her soul mate and a caregiver to her sons in an interview with NBC’s “Today.” She said she’d never gone through anything as painful as his death.
“I just keep telling myself that the more suffering that I go through, the greater character I’ll have,” she said.