According to the Cleburne Country Sheriff’s Office in Heber Springs, Ark., troubled country star Mindy McCready, best known for her hit 1996 album Ten Thousand Angels, died today in an apparent suicide at the age of 37.
Stacy McCloud, a reporter at Fox17 in Nashville, first tweeted the news on Sunday evening, and followed-up with a clarifying tweet an hour later:
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
NBC News correspondent Andrea Canning also reported details via Twitter, where she claimed that a close friend of McCready’s explained the singer had shot herself.
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
An email and call to McCready’s rep were not immediately returned.
Last week, a judge ordered McCready be sent to a treatment facility for mental health and alcohol issues on the same day that her two children, Zander, 6, and Zayne, 10 months, were placed in foster care. In January, McCready’s boyfriend, David Wilson, Zayne’s father, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
McCready moved herself from Florida to Nashville when she was 18, and within a year had scored a recording contract at BNA Records. In 1996, she released her debut album, Ten Thousand Angels, which sold over 2 million copies and spawned the number one single “Guys Do It All The Time.”
McCready’s two subsequent albums with BNA, 1997′s If I Don’t Stay the Night and 1999′s I’m Not So Tough, couldn’t match the success of her debut (though, If I Don’t Stay the Night was certified Gold), and she was dropped by the label soon after. In 2002, McCready released a self-titled fourth album with Capitol Records, but it was a commercial failure, and she was dropped once again.
Over the subsequent years, McCready’s personal struggles often overshadowed her musical endeavors. In August 2004, she was arrested for using a fake prescription to purchase OxyContin pills. In May 2005, McCready’s then-boyfriend, Billy McKnight, Zander’s father, was charged with attempted murder after he assaulted her. She was charged with DUI the same month. The following July, McCready was found unconscious in a hotel lobby in Florida after an attempted drug overdose. In September of that year, while pregnant with her first child, McCready was again hospitalized for an overdose of antidepressants. Sadly, those weren’t her only suicide attempts. McCready was also hospitalized in 2008 after cutting her wrists.
In 2009, McCready appeared in the third season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. She released a new album in 2010 called I’m Still Here. “This time I can survive,” she wailed during the bridge of the title track.
McCready continued to run into legal troubles stemming from her probation and an ongoing custody dispute over son Zander from 2010-2012. The apparent suicide of boyfriend David Wilson on January 13 of this year clearly shook the star. In her last interview, McCready spoke with Dateline shortly after Wilson’s death. “He was my soulmate,” she said, through tears. “He was my life.”