HEBER SPRINGS, Ark. — Mindy McCready, who hit the top of the country charts before personal problems sidetracked her career, died Sunday in Arkansas of an apparent suicide. She was 37.
The Cleburne County sheriff’s office said in a news release that Ms. McCready was found dead at a residence in Heber Springs from what appears to be a single, self-inflicted gunshot to the head. An autopsy is pending.
It wasn’t the first suicide attempt for the troubled singer, whose list of problems continued to grow in 2013.
Ms. McCready entered court-ordered rehab earlier this month after her father told a judge she was no longer taking care of herself or her children and was abusing drugs and alcohol. Her sons, Zander and Zayne, were put in foster care at the time, but it is not clear where they were at the time of Ms. McCready’s death.
Ms. McCready’s longtime boyfriend David Wilson, the father of her younger son, died last month in Arkansas. Authorities found his body on the same porch on which they discovered Ms. McCready’s on Sunday and his death also was investigated as a suicide.
Melinda Gayle McCready arrived in Nashville in 1994 still in her teens 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. She would spend the next several years chasing another hit.
Personal problems began plaguing her in 2004. Her problems would include a custody battle with her mother over one of her sons, an overdose, and discord in her love life.
Ms. 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 Ms. McCready hiding in a residence without permission and took the boy into custody.
She and Wilson had Zayne in April of 2012. Her older son’s father is Ms. McCready’s former boyfriend Billy McKnight.
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 declared herself clean from drugs.
She is the fifth celebrity appearing on that show to have died.