Country music singer Mindy McCready was found dead Sunday night in Heber Springs, Ark. She was 37.
McReady’s death was confirmed by the Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office. She reportedly died from what appears to be a single, self-inflicted gunshot to her head. An autopsy has been scheduled.
She was found dead on her front porch, the same place where her former boyfriend, the father of her younger son, had killed himself one month prior. McCready's two children remain in foster care and were not home at the time of her death.
McCready’s 1996 debut album, “Ten Thousand Angels,” went multi-platinum, and two songs off the record, the title cut and “Guys Do It All the Time,” were No. 1 country hits. Four other studio albums followed: 1997's "If I Don't Stay the Night" (which was certified Gold) 1999's "I'm Not So Tough," her 2002 self-titled album and the 2010 critically-acclaimed "I'm Still Here."
Overall, McCready's four studio albums accounted for 12 singles on the Billboard country singles charts, including "A Girl's Gotta Do (What a Girl's Gotta Do)". Although she had not charted a single since 2002, McCready received significant media coverage regarding her personal life. "I'm Still Here" is available on Amazon and iTunes. McCready sold more than three million albums according to the RIAA.
In the last decade, however, McCready’s music took a back seat to her often-troubled personal life, which included legal problems and the revelation of a long-running affair with married former New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens.
The last few months of McCready’s life were a series of tabloid headlines.
In January, the singer’s boyfriend, David Wilson, was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. But questions surrounding the circumstances of the shooting led authorities to keep his death under investigation.
In an interview with the NBC newsmagazine “Dateline” in late January, McCready denied any involvement in her live-in boyfriend’s death after a reporter asked her whether she had shot him.
“Oh my God, no. Oh my God, no,” she responded. “He was my life. We were each other’s life. There’s no way to tell where one of us began and the other ended. We slept together every night holding hands.”
After Wilson’s death, McCready, who had struggled with alcohol and mental health issues, checked into an inpatient rehab facility for treatment. Her two sons — Wilson was the father of her younger child — were removed from her care.
In 1997, McCready became engaged to actor Dean Cain. The couple broke up the following year.
McCready also dated former NHL hockey player Drake Berehowsky.
In December 2003, she began dating aspiring singer William Patrick "Billy" McKnight.
In August 2004, McCready was arrested in Tennessee for using a fake prescription to buy the painkiller OxyContin. Although she initially denied the charge, she pleaded guilty and was fined $4,000, sentenced to three years probation, and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.
In May 2005, she was stopped by Nashville police for speeding, then arrested and charged with driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license. A jury later found her not guilty on the charges of DUI, but guilty of driving with a suspended license. That July, she was charged in Arizona with identity theft, unlawful use of transportation, unlawful imprisonment, and hindering prosecution.
On May 8, 2005, McKnight was arrested and charged with attempted murder after beating and choking her. After reporting to People magazine that she had cut ties with McKnight, McCready was found unconscious in a hotel lobby in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., after attempting suicide in July 2005. She was hospitalized for a drug overdose after consuming a large amount of undisclosed drugs with alcohol.
An arrest warrant was issued for McCready in June 2005 for violation of her probation when she left Tennessee without her probation officer's permission. She was also charged with not reporting to her probation officer during the month of July. She was finally arrested in Florida and returned to Tennessee. She faced a hearing later that year on charges of violating her probation on a drug charge by failing to check in with her probation officer and leaving the state without permission to go to Florida.
The couple eventually got back together and McCready became pregnant. In September 2005, while she was pregnant with McKnight's child, she attempted suicide again by overdosing on antidepressants. In March, 2006, McCready gave birth to a son, Zander Ryan McCready.
In July 2007, McCready was arrested in Ft. Myers, Fla. She was charged with battery and resisting arrest for an apparent scuffle with her mother. The following week, she was taken into custody at the Nashville International Airport for violating probation. In September, McCready was sentenced to a year in jail for violating probation. In addition to the jail time, she was ordered to serve two more years of probation and perform 200 additional hours of community service. She was released from jail in December.
In June 2008, McCready was arrested in Tennessee for violating the terms of her probation set in September 2007. Sentenced to 60 days in jail, McCready turned herself in on Sept. 30, 2008. After serving half of her sentence, she was released early for good behavior on Oct. 31, 2008.
Earlier that year, in April, the New York Daily News reported on a possible long-term relationship between McCready and baseball star Roger Clemens that began when she was 15.
Clemens' attorney Rusty Hardin denied the affair, stating that Clemens would bring a defamation suit regarding this false allegation. Clemens' attorney admitted that a relationship existed, but described McCready as a "close family friend." He also stated that McCready had traveled on Clemens' personal jet and that Clemens' wife was aware of the relationship. Clemens issued a statement saying only that "I have made mistakes in my personal life for which I am sorry." McCready described the relationship as being sexual in nature.
On Nov. 17, 2008, McCready spoke in more detail to Inside Edition about her affair with Clemens. She stated that their relationship lasted for more than a decade, ending when Clemens refused to leave his wife to marry McCready. However, she denied that she was 15 when it began; she said they met when she was 16 and the relationship became sexual only "several years later".
On Dec. 17, 2008, paramedics were called to McCready's Nashville home after an apparent suicide attempt; they transported her to a hospital after finding wounds on her wrists. On May 25, 2010, McCready was hospitalized in Cape Coral, Florida, for a possible drug overdose; she may have had a reaction to Darvocet her mother had given her. She was released later that day and returned home.
A pornographic videotape of McCready and an ex-boyfriend referred to as "Peter" went on sale by Vivid Entertainment in 2010.
In April, 2012, McCready gave birth to her second child, a son named Zayne. The child's father, record producer David Wilson, was found dead on Jan. 13, 2013 at McCready's home, of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. The Cleburn County, Arkansas, sheriff's department has opened an investigation into Wilson's death. Following Wilson's death, McCready released a statement in which she referred to him as her "soulmate" and "life partner".
By Gerrick D. Kennedy - Los Angeles Times (MCT)
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