The country music world reeled in shock over the weekend when long-troubled singer Mindy McCready apparently committed suicide on Sunday, one month after her boyfriend David Wilson allegedly did the same. However, those who have been following the country star’s tumultuous history over the years know that she has weathered a string of seemingly never-ending personal issues since emerging on the music scene in the mid-’90s. Here’s a look at the tragic path to the 37-year-old’s final days.
November 30, 1975— Malinda Gayle McCready is born in Fort Naples, Florida. Raised in the southern Florida area, she hones a love of performing while singing in church. When she was 9 years old, her parents split up, causing McCready to develop a sense of independence at an early age.
1994—McCready, 18, informs her mother she is moving to Nashville to pursue a music career. She promises her mom that if she doesn’t get a record contract within one year, she’ll drop her dreams of stardom and attend college. Eleven months after arriving in Music City, she inks a label deal with BNA Records.
1996—McCready’s debut album, Ten Thousand Angels, is released. The set goes double platinum and spawns her first and only No. 1 hit, the cheeky “Guys Do It All The Time,” as well as three other charting singles. She’s nominated for Top New Female Artist at the Academy of Country Music Awards, but loses to 14-year-old phenomenon LeAnn Rimes.
1997—The singer releases her sophomore album, If I Don’t Stay The Night, which performs satisfactorily but fails to replicate the success of her first record. In September, she announces she is engaged to Superman actor Dean Cain, whom she met earlier in the year at a concert. The whirlwind romance doesn’t last, and the couple break it off in 1998.
1999—McCready puts out her third record, I’m Not So Tough. The set’s dismal sales mark it a commercial failure, resulting in McCready being dropped by the label. She’s picked up by Capitol Records, but comes under fire for being unpredictable and difficult to work with. She ultimately loses the Capitol deal after her 2002 self-titled effort for the label tanks.
2003—McCready begins dating aspiring singer Billy McKnight. Not long after, she is charged with using a fake prescription to obtain painkillers. She pleads guilty in late 2004 and is sentenced to three years probation, as well as a monetary fine and community service obligations.
May 2005—McCready is charged with drunk driving, but is found guilty of only driving with a suspended license. Just a couple days later, McKnight is charged with attempted murder after he allegedy breaks into McCready’s house and violently attacks her.
July 2005—The singer is charged again, this time in Arizona on various counts, including unlawful use of transportation, unlawful imprisonment, and hindering prosecution. She is then found unconscious in a Florida hotel lobby following a suicide attempt involving an overdose of drugs and alcohol.
August 2005—McCready is arrested in Florida for breaking probation on her May drug charge.
September 2005—After reconciling with McKnight, McCready reveals that she is pregnant with his child. After a random quarrel with McKnight, she is hospitalized for yet another suicide attempt, this time an overdose on antidepressants.
2006—First son Zander is born in March.
2007—McCready is arrested yet again, this time following an argument and scuffle with her mother. She’s thrown into jail for breaking probation, but released in December. She vows to rekindle her career.
2008—Scandal breaks as McCready admits to a longtime affair with star baseball pitcher Roger Clemens, whom she claims she’d been involved with since she was a teenager. She says she broke up with the married father of two when he refused to leave his wife for her.
June 2008—The law comes down on McCready yet again, when she is arrested for violating probation terms set in 2007. At the end of the year, she is transported to a hospital for another apparent suicide attempt.
2009—McCready joins the third-season cast of VH1’s Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, where she discusses her substance abuse issues in detail.
2010—McCready releases what will be her final album, I’m Still Here. News emerges that adult-media company Vivid Entertainment plans to release a sex tape, Mindy McCready, Baseball Mistress, featuring McCready and an unidentified actor, said to be a former boyfriend. Two months later, she is in the hospital again for another overdose.
2011—McCready reveals she is pregnant, this time by new boyfriend David Wilson, an aspiring Nashville music producer. Several days later, she violates court orders by failing to return her older son, Zander, to her parents—the child’s legal guardians—after a visit. She hides the child at Wilson’s Arkansas home, leading her mother to file a missing person’s report.
2012—In April, McCready—who reported to the media that she was carrying twins—startles with the announcement of a single birth, son Zayne Wilson. Her reps blame a “misinterpreted sonogram” as the cause for the mixup.
December 2012—McCready is granted full custody of Zander.
January 2013—David Wilson is found dead at home from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. McCready denies involvement.
February 6, 2013—McCready is committed to rehab for substance abuse and mental health assessment on the request of her family, who say she is unstable in the wake of Wilson’s death. She is released two days later.
February 17, 2013—Police respond to reports of gunfire from McCready’s residence. McCready is found dead on the front porch of the home she and Wilson shared. She was 37 years old. Preliminary plans are underway to organize a memorial in Nashville in the coming days.