by Shannonn Kelly
05:39AM, EST, February 18, 2013
It’s reported that troubled country music star, Mindy McCready, 37 is dead of an apparent suicide after Sheriff’s deputies found her body on the front porch of her home around 3:30PM, EST, Sunday.
It also appears that McCready shot her dog before taking her own life. Sadly, she leaves behind a 10-month old boy and a 6 year-old boy who prior to the incident was placed in foster care.
In the last 10 years, I started to get into country music as a result of long road trips in the American South-West and nothing else on the radio. I can’t name a lot of artists, but Lyle Lovett, Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash have become favorites.
However, because I’m a big baseball fan is how I became aware of Mindy McCready. Huge rumors were swirling around that she was involved in a long-term affair with the already married Cy Young Award winning starting baseball pitcher for the New York Yankees, Roger “The Rocket” Clemens.
According to the New York Daily News (in part):
“I cannot refute anything in the story,” a tearful but resolute McCready told the Daily News, which broke the story at midnight Sunday.
“Yes, I have known Roger Clemens for a long time,” McCready said, reading from a prepared statement. “He’s a kind and caring man. He’s also a legendary athlete. The central topic in the debate, however, regards his professional life, not his personal life. There are legal matters working their way through the system that have nothing to do with me. From my point of view, that is where the focus should remain.”
After the teenage McCready met Clemens at a Fort Myers bar called The Hired Hand, she returned with the Rocket to his hotel room, but there was no sex that night, sources told The News.
Sources told The News McCready also received hefty checks courtesy of Clemens – some in the amount of $25,000 – that were channeled to the singer through an intermediary.
Such an arrangement raises questions as to why Clemens would go through a third party to give money to McCready if she and the Rocket were just friends.
The shocking news of McCready’s apparent suicide comes only a month after her boyfriend and father of her 10-month old son Zane, music producer David Wilson, died after a “self inflicted” gunshot wound in the couple’s home in Heber Springs, a town about 65 miles north of Little Rock, Arkansas.
According to People Magazine staff writer Steve Helling:
“Ms. McCready was pronounced dead at the scene from what appears to be a single self-inflicted gunshot wound,” the sheriff’s department says in a statement. “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.”
She is survived by her son Zander, 6, with ex Billy McKnight, and Zayne, 10 months.
It was a tragic end for a woman who had such promise and early success but who spiraled into addiction and legal problems.
Professionally, McCready was best known for her hit debut album Ten Thousand Angels. In recent years, it’s been the singer’s personal troubles making headlines, though she was attempting to reestablish her music career. In 2010, McCready released a new album titled I’m Still Here.
In January, McCready’s life partner and Zayne’s father, singer-songwriter David Wilson, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Just three weeks later, a judge ordered McCready to be committed to a treatment facility to cope with mental health and alcohol issues and her sons were placed in foster care.
Police opened an investigation into Wilson’s death, telling PEOPLE that the cause of death was ‘unknown.’
McCready became one of country music’s most promising artists when Ten Thousand Angels went double platinum in 1996. The album spawned four top ten singles, including the no. 1 hit “Guys Do It All the Time.” That year, she was nominated as the Top New Female Vocalist at the Academy of Country Music Awards and as Favorite New Artist for the American Music Awards.
But her personal life soon got in the way of her success. In 2004, after illegally obtaining Oxycontin, she was charged with prescription drug fraud. She served three years of probation and performed 200 hours of community service. The following year, she was arrested and charged with DUI and driving with a suspended license.
Shortly thereafter, she got into a physical altercation with her ex-boyfriend, Billy McKnight. Although he was initially charged with attempted murder, McCready’s story quickly changed and he served 30 days for misdemeanor assault. Despite the fact that she testified against him in court, they quickly reconciled. That same year, she was charged in Arizona with identity theft, unlawful imprisonment, and hindering prosecution. She was hospitalized for attempting suicide days later.
In September of 2005, McCready attempted suicide again by taking 30 antidepressants while pregnant with Zander.
Two years later, she spent several months in prison, stemming from a probation violation after resisting arrest and committing battery during an argument with her mother, Gayle Inge.
There were more hospitalizations and trips to rehab, including an appearance on VH1’s Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew in 2009.
In 2011, McCready fled Florida with Zander in tow, settling in Arkansas. She continued to battle McKnight for custody.
But despite all her problems, McCready continued to pursue a country music career. Her 2010 album, Still Standing, unflinchingly documented her downfall. On “I’m Still Here,” she sang: “After the storm blew through, It kept me and it saved me. I’m still standing right where you left me.”
Despite many attempts to untangle her complicated life, she was sadly unable to save herself.