Mindy McCready is found dead at her home in Arkansas
The gunshot wound appears to be self-inflicted, sheriff's office says
She had long struggled with addiction and mental illness
McCready burst onto the scene in 1996 with her album "10,000 Angels"
Country music star Mindy McCready was found dead Sunday at her home in Arkansas from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, the local sheriff’s office said in a statement. She was 37.
Deputies from the Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a report of gunshots fired Sunday afternoon and found McCready’s body on the front porch, the statement read.
McCready leaves behind two sons, 6-year-old Zander and 10-month-old Zayne.
The singer struggled with addiction and mental illness, often publicly. She appeared in an episode of “Celebrity Rehab” three years ago with Dr. Drew Pinsky, who said he contacted her last month after her boyfriend’s death.
“When I heard she was struggling, I did reach out to her and urged her to go to take care of herself, get in a facility if she felt she needed,” said Pinsky, who hosts a program on CNN’s sister network HLN.
“Her biggest fear was the stigma of doing so and what people would think if she, God forbid, took care of herself. And this to me is the most distressing part of this story. She is a lovely woman, we have lost her, and it didn’t have to go down like this.”
McCready burst onto the music scene in 1996 with her debut album “10,000 Angels,” and the chart-topping hit “Guys Do It All the Time.”
In recent years, McCready had waged a public battle for custody of her elder son, Zander, whose father is McKnight.
A judge ordered authorities to pick up the boy and, days later, authorities found the boy and McCready in a closet at her home.
Sunday night, country music stars offered their condolences as they learned of McCready’s death.
“I grew up listening to Mindy McCready … so sad for her family tonight. Many prayers are going out to them,” tweeted singer Carrie Underwood.
“It breaks my heart what addiction continues to take from this life,” singer Wynonna Judd wrote in a series of tweets. “Addiction is a disEASE & not a character flaw. When the pain becomes too much, it causes people to want that pain to stop. This is just so unbelieveable & so sad.”
A year ago, McCready posted excerpts of a book she said was upcoming about her life. She acknowledged a difficult upbringing, personal problems and the challenges she faced turning her life around.
“I haven’t had a hit in almost a decade,” she wrote in January 2012 on her official fan website. “I’ve spent my fortune, tarnished my public view and made myself the brunt of punch line after punch line.
CNN’s Vivian Kuo, Elwyn Lopez and Melissa Gray contributed to this report.