Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Country star McCready found dead

Mindy McCready hit the top of the country charts before personal problems sidetracked her career (AP)

Troubled country singer Mindy McCready has been found dead with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities in Arkansas have said.

Mother-of-two McCready, 37, was found dead on the front porch of a home in Heber Springs on Sunday afternoon local time, Cleburne county sheriff's office said.

McCready hit the top of the country charts before personal problems sidetracked her career In 1996, her Guys Do It All The Time hit No 1 and its dig at male chauvinism endeared her to women. Her other hits included Ten Thousand Angels, also in 1996, and her album by that title sold two million copies.

She arrived in Nashville in 1994 with tapes of her karaoke vocals and earned a recording contract with BNA Records.

But problems plagued her, beginning in 2004, and included a custody battle with her mother over one of her sons.

McCready took her older son Zander from her mother and the boy's legal guardian, Gayle Inge, in late 2011. She fled to Arkansas without permission over what she called child abuse fears. Authorities eventually found McCready hiding in a residence without permission and took the boy into custody. She and her boyfriend David Wilson had a son Zayne, in April of 2012. The older son has a different father.

In May 2010, she was briefly admitted to hospital after police responded to an overdose call at a home in North Fort Myers, Florida, owned by her mother. This followed a stint on Celebrity Rehab With Dr Drew, where she declared herself clean from drugs.

In 2004, she was charged with obtaining the painkiller OxyContin fraudulently at a pharmacy. She pleaded guilty and was placed on three years' probation. She broke the probation with a drink-driving arrest in May 2005, then attempted suicide in July 2005 and December 2008, and overdosed in September 2005.

Also that year, McCready was charged in Arizona with hindering prosecution and unlawful use of transportation. Those charges stemmed from an alleged attempt in June 2005 to purchase two high performance boats, but she claimed she was trying to stop a conman.

Growing up in Fort Myers, she took seven years of private vocal lessons and later sang in karaoke bars. After getting her recording contract, she did concert appearances with top country stars including George Strait, Tim McGraw and Alan Jackson. Her other singles included Maybe He'll Notice Her Now, A Girl's Gotta Do (What A Girl's Gotta Do) and You'll Never Know.

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