Troubled country singer Mindy McCready has died, apparently by her own hand. According to the Cleburne County Sheriff's department, McCready's body was found Sunday in Heber Springs, Arkansas. The 37-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene from what appeared to be a single self-inflicted gunshot wound.
About a month ago, McCready's boyfriend, 34-year-old David Wilson, died, reportedly of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, though his death is still under investigation. McCready denied any involvement in Wilson's death. Not long afterwards, her two sons, Zander and Zayne, were taken into care by authorities, and E! Online reports that she was ordered to enter a facility for a mental health and alcohol abuse evaluation.
E! reports that according to court documents, a judge wrote that there was cause to believe the singer was suicidal; however, a few days later, she received the OK to undergo outpatient treatment instead.
Wilson was the father of McCready's younger son, Zayne. In November of 2011, McCready violated a court order when she didn't bring her older son, Zander, whose father is McCready's ex, Billy McKnight, back home to Florida after a visit. Zander was then placed in foster care while the custody dispute was worked out. It was just the latest in a long line of personal and legal troubles that McCready had faced in the past decade.
McCready had reportedly attempted suicide in the past, most recently in 2008, the same year it was revealed that she'd had a decade-long relationship with baseball star Roger Clemens, who was married to another woman at the time.
A statement on the Houston Astros' website claims McCready was a "former friend" of Clemens'. He says in the statement, "Yes, this is sad news. I had heard over time that she was trying to get peace and direction in her life. The few times that I had met her and her manager/agent they were extremely nice."
In addition to her stints in private rehab, McCready also appeared on VH1's Celebrity Rehab in 2010, where she was treated by Dr. Drew Pinsky.
Pinsky tells VH1.com, "Although I have not treated her for few years, I had reached out to her recently upon hearing about the apparent suicide of her boyfriend and father of her younger children. She was devastated. Although she was fearful of stigma and ridicule she agreed with me that she needed to make her health and safety a priority. Unfortunately it seems that Mindy did not sustain her treatment."
Pinsky goes on to say that his heart goes out to McCready's family and children.
Plans for a public memorial in Nashville are underway according to a statement from McCready's publicist. The late singer's family will remember her with a private funeral as well.
McCready first rose to fame in 1996 with her debut album Ten Thousand Angels, which produced the #1 hit "Guys Do It All the Time." She released five albums in all, and scored six top 40 country hits, including "Ten Thousand Angels" and "A Girl's Gotta Do (What a Girl's Gotta Do)." Her most recent album, I'm Still Here, came out in 2010.
Country stars began tweeting in remembrance of McCready Sunday night:
Carrie Underwood: "I grew up listening to Mindy McCready...so sad for her family tonight. Many prayers are going out to them..."
Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott: "My heart is breaking hearing of the loss of Mindy McCready. Pray for her 2 precious little boys...may God's peace & protection be on them!"
Dixie Chicks' Natalie Maines: "Too much tragedy to overcome. R.I.P Mindy McCready."
Wynonna: "Oh my! Mindy. Dear sweet girl. This is so sad. It just breaks my heart what addiction continues to take from this life. Addiction is a dis EASE & not a character flaw. When the pain becomes too much, it causes people to want that pain to stop. This is just so Unbelievable & so sad. God be with the family & those babies. Surround them with your grace & mercy. Sleep in Heavenly peace Mindy."
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