HEBER SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) — Mindy McCready, who hit the top of the country charts before personal problems sidetracked her career, died Sunday after she apparently shot herself. She was 37.
A news release from the Cleburne County Sheriff's Office says that McCready, 37, was found dead Sunday afternoon with what appears to be a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Deputies were sent to a home around 4 p.m. and found her body on the front porch. An autopsy is pending.
Coroner Waren Olmstead said he didn't have further information on who was taking care of her two sons.
She arrived in Nashville in 1994 with tapes of her karaoke vocals and earned a recording contract with BNA Records.
In 1996, her "Guys Do It All the Time" hit No. 1 and its dig at male chauvinism endeared her to females. Her other hits included "Ten Thousand Angels," also in 1996, and her album by that title sold 2 million copies.
However, personal 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 McCready hiding in a residence without permission 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 hospitalized briefly after police responded to an overdose call at a home in North Fort Myers, Fla., owned by her mother. This followed a stint on "Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew," where she delcared herself clean from drugs.
In 2004, she was charged with obtaining the painkiller OxyContin fraudulently at a pharmacy. She pleaded guilty and was placed on three years' probation.
She violated the probation with a drunken driving arrest in May 2005. Then she attempted suicide in July 2005, overdosed in September 2005 and slit her wrists again in December 2008.
Also that year, McCready was charged in Arizona with hindering prosecution and unlawful use of transportation. Those charges stemmed from an alleged attempt in June 2005 to purchase two high performance boats, but she claimed she was trying to stop a con man.
She made headlines again in April 2008 when she acknowledged a longtime relationship with baseball great Roger Clemens. Published reports at the time said she met the pitcher at a Florida karaoke bar when she was 15 and he was 28 and married.
Growing up in Fort Myers, she took seven years of private vocal lessons and later sang in karaoke bars.
After getting her recording contract, she did concert appearances with top country stars including George Strait, Tim McGraw and Alan Jackson.
Her other singles included "Maybe He'll Notice Her Now," ''A Girl's Gotta Do (What a Girl's Gotta Do)" and "You'll Never Know."
In 1998, she was engaged to actor Dean Cain, but they apparently never married.