Things hadn't been going well for chart-topping country singer Mindy McCready in recent years, and with 2013 looking more dreadful than the rest, the 37-year-old took her own life on Sunday. Less than a month ago, McCready's boyfriend, record producer David Wilson, died in an apparent suicide, and she checked herself into a rehab facility two weeks ago. Apparently, the help was not enough. NBC Dateline's Andrea Canning broke the news of her death in a tweet on Sunday evening: "Just got a call from Mindy McCready's best friend that she shot and killed herself this evening. My heart breaks for her two boys. RIP." McCready's brother confirmed the death to the New York Daily News soon thereafter.
The phrase that immediately popped up in stories about McCready's death was "turbulent life." It could hardly be described any other way. McCready's career took off quickly after she quietly moved to Nashville to become a country singer at age 18 — she was even briefly engaged to Dean Cane, a.k.a. made-for-TV Superman — but her descent into drug and alcohol abuse and mental illness played out very publicly over the next two decades. Though her first album went double platinum, McCready's second and third sold progressively worse, and her personal life seemed to reflect the change of fortunes tragically. After her ex-boyfriend attempted to kill her in 2005, McCready made her first suicide attempt with prescription drugs and made a second one a few months later, while pregnant with her first child. She tried slitting her wrists in 2008 and then overdosed in 2010. This isn't even taking into account her legal troubles which include but are not limited to using a fake prescription to try and get Oxycontin, multiple DUIs and identity theft.
McCready is perhaps most famous for her involvement with former baseball pitcher Roger Clemens. The Daily News reported in 2008 that Clemens met McCready when he was 28 and she was just 15, performing at a karaoke bar. What followed was a decade long affair that Clemens denies was romantic, instead describing McCready as a "close family friend." Regardless of the true nature of the affair, the tabloid had a field day with the story, and McCready earned nicknames like the "Amy Winehouse of country." And like the Winehouse saga, the story of Mindy McCready has now come to a tragic close as well.