Country artist Mindy McCready dead at 37
Country artist Mindy McCready, who had battled a series of legal and health challenges in recent years, died on Sunday (2/17). Local authorities have deemed the apparent cause of death to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
According to USA Today, local Sheriff Marty Moss said his office received a call to the McCready home around 3:30 p.m. local time in Heber Springs, AR, west of Memphis.
"Ms. McCready is deceased from what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound," Moss told the paper.
McCready, 37, hit the music world with a big splash in 1996 with her album "Ten Thousand Angels," which produced three Top 10 country singles -- the title track, "Guys Do It All The Time" and "A Girl's Gotta Do (What a Girl's Gotta Do)."
Her follow-up releases faded from the charts fairly quickly, and she was subsequently dropped by her initial label, BNA, and in the early 2000's by Capitol after her initial release with that label didn't crack the charts.
By the mid-2000s, her private life was driving more press than her music career. After rounds of tabloid coverage following a domestic abuse charge against an ex-boyfriend in 2005, McCready landed in the hospital, and in the news, several times over the following years after a series of reported suicide attempts failed.
In 2010, McCready joined the season 3 cast of "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew," and in the process of demonstrating progress in her rehabilitation, debuted a new song, "I'm Still Here," followed by a full album of the same name, which drew positive reviews. Her former castmate on the show, Mike Starr, former bassist for Alice In Chains, died in March of 2011 of a drug overdose.
Another round of tabloid coverage followed, as a relationship between McCready and baseball star Roger Clemens was revealed that dated back to her teens and a sex tape with a former boyfriend surfaced.
In recent weeks, McCready was shaken by the January death of her boyfriend, record producer David Wilson. NBC News' Andrea Canning interviewed McCready following the incident.
"I just started screaming, calling 911" after Wilson shot himself, McCready told Canning. "I laid down next to him. I just pleaded with him not to die."
McCready subsequently checked herself into and out of a local rehab facility.
The singer is survived by two sons, age 6 and 10 months.