Gun-death tragedy of troubled country music star

Troubled country singer Mindy McCready was found dead with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities in Arkansas said yesterday.

The Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office said mother-of-two McCready, 37, was found dead on the front porch of a home in Heber Springs on Sunday.

McCready hit the top of the country charts before personal problems sidetracked her career

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In 1996, her Guys Do It All The Time hit No 1 and its dig at male chauvinism endeared her to women. Her other hits included Ten Thousand Angels, also in 1996, and her album by that title sold two million copies.

She arrived in Nashville in 1994 with tapes of her karaoke vocals and earned a recording contract with BNA Records. But problems plagued her, beginning in 2004, and included a custody battle with her mother over one of her sons.

McCready took her older son Zander from her mother and the boy’s legal guardian, Gayle Inge, in late 2011. She fled to Arkansas without permission over what she called child abuse fears. Authorities eventually found her and took the boy into custody.

She and her boyfriend David Wilson had a son Zayne, in April of 2012. The older son has a different father.

In May 2010, she was briefly admitted to hospital after police responded to an overdose call at a home in North Fort Myers, Florida, owned by her mother. This followed a stint on Celebrity Rehab with Dr Drew, where she declared herself clean from drugs.

In 2004, she pleaded guilty to obtaining the painkiller OxyContin fraudulently at a pharmacy and was placed on three years’ probation. She broke the probation with a drink-driving arrest in May 2005, then attempted suicide in July 2005, overdosed in September 2005 and slit her wrists again in December 2008.