Singer Mindy McCready Dies at Age 37

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Country music singer Mindy McCready has died at age 37.

Her body was found on Sunday on the front porch of her Heber Springs, Ark., home, the Cleburne County Sheriff's Office said in a news release. She was found to be dead of "a single self-inflicted gunshot wound." 

Shortly after news broke on Sunday evening, Dr. Drew Pinsky, who treated McCready in 2009 on his VH1 show Celebrity Rehab, issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter reading: "I am deeply saddened by this awful news. My heart goes out to Mindy's family and children. She is a lovely woman who will be missed by many. Although I have not treated her for a few years, I had reached out to her recently upon hearing about the apparent suicide of her boyfriend and father of her younger children. She was devastated.  Although she was fearful of stigma and ridicule she agreed with me that she needed to make her health and safety a priority. Unfortunately it seems that Mindy did not sustain her treatment."

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McCready's boyfriend, musician David Wilson, was found dead in January. Earlier this month, she was ordered to be committed to a treatment facility. Speaking on CNN, Pinsky added that the "stigma of mental illness" contributed to her death, which was precipitated when she checked out of treatment early. "She'd been very doing well, things were looking up for her," he said.

McCready broke onto the country scene in 1996 when she released her debut album Ten Thousand Angels, featuring the No. 1 single “Guys Do It All the Time.” The  album sold over 2 million copies and spawned three more Top 10 songs. It was followed by the gold-certified If I Don’t Stay The Night, which was released the following year. Two more albums followed, after which she was dropped by Capitol Records. Her most recent album was 2010’s I’m Still Here, released independently.

But in the last decade, it wasn’t music that garnered the singer the most attention. Rather, she made headlines for various public run-ins with the law -- including a 2005 DUI, charges of battery (against her mother, Gayle Inge, and ex-boyfriend Billy McKnight), and habitual drug- and alcohol-related offenses, which led to incarceration and her stint on Celebrity Rehab. McCready reportedly attempted suicide two times prior to the recent fatal event. 

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Several failed relationships also contributed to her troublemaker reputation. McCready claimed to have had a ten-year affair with baseball star Roger Clemens. She was briefly engaged to Lois & Clark actor Dean Cain, dated songwriter-producer David Malloy and, for a brief time, was suspected of attempting to murder McKnight. Adding to the tabloid fodder was a 2009 incident involving a video of Rebecca Gayheart and Eric Dane performing sexual acts with Kari Ann Peniche, which the couple accused McCready of leaking.

In recent years, McCready was embroiled in a custody battle with McKnight, father of her first son, Zander, during which she fled to Florida. But it was the death of producer Wilson, dad to 10-month-old Zayne, whom McCready called her "soulmate," that may have put the final nail in her coffin.

Said McCready's mother in a 2009 interview, "She has a voice from heaven. But she is her own worst enemy.''

McCready's two children are currently in foster care, according to People.

The full statement from the Cleburne County Sheriff's office in Arkansas is below: 

At 3:31 PM, Sunday, February 17th Deputies from the Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a report of gun shots fired in the area of 1132 Fox Chase Drive in Heber Springs. Officers arrived on the scene at 3:58 PM and discovered the body of 37 year old Melinda Gayle McCready on the front porch of the residence at 1132 Fox Chase. Ms. McCready was pronounced dead at the scene from what appears to be a single self-inflicted gunshot wound. At this time family members have been notified of the incident. Ms. Mcready will be transported to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for an autopsy and the matter will be fully investigated.

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