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Mindy McCready dead of apparent suicide

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:

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.

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.”

RELATED:
Mindy McCready Comes Clean: Read the 2009 EW feature on the troubled star
Mindy McCready committed for alcohol and mental health issues

Mindy McCready committed for alcohol and mental health issues; read the revelatory profile of her from 2009

The sad tale of Mindy McCready got one chapter deeper yesterday. A judge ordered the embattled country star be committed to a treatment facility for issues involving her mental health and alcohol abuse. Family services also removed McCready’s two children from her care.

According to E! News, McCready may be committed for up to 21 days after her family initiated an emergency hearing to get her some help. Several sources noted that McCready was having a difficult time after the death of boyfriend David Wilson in January. His death is still under investigation, but the police have said that it appears his gunshot wound was self-inflicted.

Following a string of country hits in the late ’90s, McCready’s fall from grace has included multiple arrests, a handful of suicide attempts, a run on Celebrity Rehab, the exposure of a long-running affair with disgraced baseball player Roger Clemens, and two stints in jail. Her tragic tale was captured in this profile of her that ran in Entertainment Weekly in 2009.

In the piece, McCready was optimistic about the future, but since then her path has remained rough. In addition to Wilson’s death, she dealt with allegations of child abuse, a number of health issues, and a stumble of a comeback album.

“I don’t want to be a victim,” McCready told writer Whitney Pastorek in 2009. “I’m a fighter. That’s why I’m still alive.”

Read More on EW.com:
Mindy McCready Comes Clean
Mindy McCready gives birth to baby boy
Mindy McCready defends herself to ABC News — WATCH

Mindy McCready's 5-year-old son found 'hiding in a closet' with mom

Mindy-McCready

By the time Arkansas authorities took country singer Mindy McCready’s 5-year-old son from her and into custody on Friday evening, one thing had already become apparent to much of America: McCready’s life has come to resemble a bad country song.

Since her emergence in the mid-1990s as a honey-voiced success story out of Nashville, McCready has been increasingly known for her personal foibles instead of her music.

This week’s custody battle was the latest in a long saga of personal heartache and brushes with the law.  READ FULL STORY

Mindy McCready ex tells 'Today' 'she's pushing her luck on this one'

Country singer Mindy McCready is pushing her luck with the legal system by not following a judge’s order to return her 5-year-old son to the care of her mother in Florida, her ex-boyfriend and father of the boy said Friday.

McCready said Thursday she would not bring her son back from Tennessee, despite violating a custody arrangement. McCready took the boy during a recent visit at her father’s Florida home, and a judge signed an order Thursday ordering authorities to take the boy into custody and return him. It’s not yet clear whether the singer could face criminal charges.
“I’m doing all this to protect Zander, not stay out of trouble,” McCready wrote in an email to the Associated Press on Thursday. “I don’t think I should be in trouble for protecting my son in the first place.”

McCready says she is in Tennessee and cannot travel because she’s nearly seven months pregnant with twins. The judge’s order means law enforcement anywhere can pick up the boy and bring him back to Florida. The boy’s father, Billy McKnight, told the NBC Today show Friday he spoke on the phone with McCready and their boy after the judge’s deadline expired. “He did sound healthy and ok. He wasn’t crying or scared,” McKnight said about their son. “I think she believes she has a case and doesn’t realize she’s pushing her luck on this one,” he said. READ FULL STORY

Pregnant Mindy McCready risks arrest in custody dispute

Country singer Mindy McCready said Wednesday she will probably not be able to bring her 5-year-old son back to Florida to fulfill a judge’s order by Thursday afternoon — because she is nearly seven months pregnant with twins. By not returning as ordered, she risks arrest.

Speaking exclusively to the Associated Press, McCready said that she and her mother have had a long custody battle in Florida over Zander. Her mother was awarded guardianship in 2007. The battle became more public this week, when the Florida Department of Children and Families said a missing person report was filed with police after McCready took Zander from her father’s home. McCready was able to visit with the boy there under a court order and the 36-year-old singer said she had spent much of the past month with her son at the home. Her mother and father are divorced.

McCready alleges that her son suffered abuse while living at her mother’s home and that is one of the reasons why she left with the boy last week. “I’m a mom first,” said McCready from Nashville, Tenn. “No matter what happens, I’m going to protect my kid. If I have to go to jail, so be it.” READ FULL STORY

Mindy McCready missing -- UPDATE

Mindy McCready and her 5-year-old son have gone missing, reports People. The embattled singer has been engaged in a dispute over custody of son Zander, who is currently under the care of her parents. She was last seen in Cape Coral, Fla., where the boy’s father lives. People reported that McCready posted on her Facebook wall, “My son is not missing” and that “police established that this afternoon via Skype” before telling friends and fans, “Please do not worry.”

It’s the latest in a saga of recent personal problems for McCready, including an apparent overdose, suicide attempts, and rehab. EW reached out to McCready’s publicist Linus Entertainment and was told the company had not been in touch with the country singer for some time. UPDATE: Lieutenant Tony Sizemore of the Cape Coral PD confirmed that a police report was filed yesterday morning, though he emphasized, “It is not a Missing Persons report.” He added, “It’s not the Missing Persons case you would imagine. There’s no amber alert, there was no child abducted on a playground.”According to Lt. Sizemore, McCready removed her son from the Cape Coral area and was, thus, in violation of her visitation agreement. “We have contacted her. She is okay, and the child is okay,” said Lt. Sizemore. McCready now has until 5 p.m. Thursday to return her son to his grandparents. If she fails to do so, the judge on her case may issue a bench warrant for her arrest.

Read more:
Country singer Mindy McCready hospitalized
Mindy McCready Comes Clean
Mindy McCready gives us early scoop on the crazy upcoming season of ‘Celebrity Rehab’

Country singer Mindy McCready hospitalized

Mindy-McCreadyThe attorney for Mindy McCready confirms to EW that the 34-year-old country singer has been hospitalized in Florida; ABC News reports that she is currently in good condition there.

McCready, whose 1996 debut Ten Thousand Angels sold more than 2 million copies, has faced numerous personal travails in the last decade, including highly publicized suicide attempts, substance abuse issues, and revelations of a long-running affair with baseball star Roger Clemens that began when she was a teenager; she most recently appeared on the third season of Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab.

Read Whitney Pastorek’s 2009 EW feature on McCready here.

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