- Name: Mindy McCready
- Full Name: Malinda Gayle McCready
- Occupation: Singer
- Date of Birth: November 30, 1975
- Place of Birth: Fort Myers, Florida
- Date of Death: February 17, 2013
- Place of Death: Heber Springs, Arkansas
Mindy McCready was an American country music singer who was born in 1975. McCready’s professional success was predominantly overshadowed by her personal strife and struggles. Although her debut album, “Ten Thousand Angels” was a huge hit, Mindy McCready struggled to be at the top. Her skirmishes with alcohol abuse and mental health caused her to be nicknamed as the “Amy Winehouse of country music.” McCready tragically died at the age of 37, when she committed suicide by shooting herself. This didn’t really come as a surprise to her fans because McCready had tried to commit suicide 4 times earlier.
Life and Career of Mindy McCready
Malinda Gayle McCready, popularly known as Mindy McCready was born in Fort Myers in Florida on November 30, 1975. She started singing when she was 3 years old in the local Pentecostal church. When she was 9 years old, Mindy started training with a professor who had retired from Julliard for the opera; however, she decided later that she preferred Reba McEntire’s and Trisha Yearwood’s style of country singing, which she learned from karaoke tapes.
Growing up, Mindy loved Michael Jackson and Madonna and she was the “karaoke queen” of her area. Around that time, she fell in love with Trisha Yearwood’s song “’She’s in Love with the Boy” and it was just what McCready was doing and so she decided that she was going to be a professional country singer.
After she graduated, Mindy moved to Nashville, Tennessee and at 17, she signed her first recording contract. In 1996, her first album, Ten Thousand Angels was released by BNA Records and she produced 4 hit singles and also Guys Do It All the Time, which was a chart topper. The album was a double platinum and McCready was soon performing in concerts alongside legends such as Tim McGraw and George Strait.
McCready’s songs were popular for her robust voice and lyrics that were empowering. McCready’s smashing debut in the country music arena was then followed by her “If I Don’t Stay the Night”, which was certified gold in 1997; however, her song I’m Not So Tough, released in 1999, did not do very well. BNA Records then dropped McCready’s 3rd album with the same name — I’m Not So Tough — and after which she signed up with Capitol Records and released her new album Mindy McCready in 2002. She was dropped by Capitol Records too after the album did not do well commercially.
McCready’s Life and Her Personal Skirmishes
McCready’s slumping album sales were the least of her problems and her personal life was fraught with struggles too. McCready was engaged to Dean Cain, the actor in 1997, but they broke up in 1998. Mindy also dated Drake Berehowsky, the former NHL player. She started dating William Patrick McKnight or Billy McKnight, the aspiring singer in 2003.
In 2004, McCready used fake prescriptions to get OxyContin, a narcotic painkiller, which got her arrested. Initially, she disputed the charges but pleaded guilty later on and had to pay a fine of $4,000 with a 3-year probation. In 2005, McCready was arrested again and this time, she was charged for driving under influence with a license that was suspended.
Around the same time, Billy McKnight, McCready’s boyfriend was arrested for attempted murder after he beat and choked McCready. Restraining orders were issued by the State of Tennessee against both McCready and her boyfriend. McCready was prohibited from leaving the state, while McKnight was prohibited from entering it. However, McCready violated the restraining order when she visited McKnight in Florida.
In 2005, McCready was charged with unlawful imprisonment, unlawful use of transportation and identity theft in Arizona and she blamed all of this on being conned by a con artist. A couple of months later, McCready was discovered unconscious in the lobby of a hotel in Indian Rocks Beach in Florida after she attempted to commit suicide. She was hospitalized again in September 2005 for a second attempt to commit suicide by taking an overdose of antidepressants.
After her two very close encounters with death, McCready claimed that McKnight had saved her life, although her relationship with him was quite tumultuous. She claimed that although he had done terrible things to her, she missed McKnight and wanted to see him. And, soon after she visited McKnight, she became pregnant and tried to commit suicide again.
Mc Ready wrote the song Black and Blue and released it in November 2005 and the proceeds that she received from the sale, she donated to Women Against Domestic Violence. On March 25, 2006, Mindy and Billy McKnight had a son, Zander Ryan McCready. Legal trouble in Mindy McCready’s life continued. In 2007 September, she was sentenced to a year of prison for violating her earlier sentence of probation but in 3 months, she was released and again in 2008, she was sent to prison for violating probation, but in 30 days, she was released for good behavior.
McCready-Roger Clemens Affair
McCready had a long-term affair with Roger Clemens, the married baseball player and this was reported by the New York Daily News in April 2008. The affair was confirmed by McCready, who claimed that she met Clemens at the age of 16 and their affair lasted for over 10 years. In the year 2008, after a gap of 6 years, McCready also released her single, I’m Still Here.
McCready was featured on the 3rd season of the show, Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew in 2010. The show portrayed McCready’s struggle with substance addiction. When she was on the show, Mindy discovered that she was suffering from brain damage, which was undiagnosed and was caused by the beatings from McKnight. A sex tape featuring Mindy McCready along with a previous boyfriend was released in April 2010.
In May, she was hospitalized for an overdose in Florida when a judge refused her the order to reclaim the custody of her son who was with Mindy’s mother. Mindy McCready gave birth to her 2nd son, Zayne with the music producer David Wilson on April 9, 2012, after a long and difficult pregnancy.
Tragic Death of Mindy McCready
David Wilson, who had been Mindy’s boyfriend for 2 years committed suicide on January 13, 2013, when he died from a gunshot wound that was self-inflicted. After the death of Wilson, McCready’s family members became very concerned about her well-being and she was ordered to be evaluated for alcohol abuse and mental health at a treatment facility by the court. She was at the facility for just 2 days before she was allowed outpatient treatment. The Department of Human Services removed Mindy’s children from her care and they were sent to foster care.
Five weeks after the death of her boyfriend, David Wilson, McCready committed suicide and was discovered dead as a result of a self-induced gunshot wound on her house porch in Heber Springs, Arkansas on February 2013. She also shot David Wilson’s pet dog fatally. Mindy McCready died at the age of 37 years and is interred at the Alva Cemetery in Florida.