She sang fun, gender-challenging country hits, but also poured her heart into depressing ballads. Perhaps the latter was more genuine: late Sunday night, authorities found Mindy McCready dead on her front porch in Arkansas. A self-inflicted gunshot wound was the cause of death according to a statement issued by local police; McCready was 37.
McCready broke onto the country scene in the mid-90s, but never experienced that giant (and treacherously difficult) crossover success. Her debut album, Ten Thousand Angels (BNA Records/BMG), scored double-platinum sales on the strength of songs like “Guys Do It All the Time,” one of a string of chart-friendly country singles.
Unfortunately, Ten Thousand Angels wasn’t the beginning of a strong sales trajectory, as subsequent albums sold far fewer copies. A self-titled release on Capitol Records came in 2002, before she parted ways with the label.
At that point, everything was happening outside of the studio, where McCready’s life was peppered with celebrity romances, drug abuse, incarceration, abusive relationships, personal drama, and suicide attempts. Her romances included Dean Cain, NHL hockey player Drake Berehowsky and a married Roger Clemens, the latter of which became the theme of a Vivid adult film called, ‘Baseball Mistress.’
The Sunday suicide follows an extremely dark period for the artist. McCready’s boyfriend David Wilson killed himself in January, and February presented a court-ordered rehabilitation and the loss of custody of her young sons.