McCready made a splash on the Nashville music scene with her debut in 1996. Photo: AP
American country music star Mindy McCready has died at age 37.
The singer was found dead outside her house in Heber Springs, Arkansas by what officials have described as "a single self-inflicted gunshot wound".
According to a statement from the Celburne County Sheriff's Office, McCready's body was found on the front porch of her residence at 3.58pm Sunday. Officers were dispatched to the area after reports of shots being fired.
Troubled ... Mindy McCready in 2006. Photo: AP
"Ms McCready was pronounced dead at the scene from what appears to be a single self-inflicted gunshot wound," the statement said.
McCready is survived by her two sons, Zander, aged 6, and Zayne, 10 months.
Earlier this month the troubled singer was court-ordered into rehab and her children placed into foster care. The judge said at the time that McCready may be suicidal. It is unclear who is currently taking care of her children.
McCready was reportedly struggling to come to terms with the death of her music producer boyfriend David Wilson. The father of her youngest son, Wilson died in January from an apparent self-inflicted gun wound.
The singer has previously suffered with substance abuse and appeared on US reality show Celebrity Rehab.
Born and raised in Florida as Melinda Gayle McCready, she arrived in Nashville in 1994 with tapes of her karaoke vocals and earned a recording contract with BNA Records.
She rocketed to fame after her debut album Ten Thousand Angels went multi-platinum in 1996 selling two million copies and including the number one hit single Guys Do It All The Time. McCready went on to produce another four albums, including If I Don't Stay The Night and I'm Not So Tough.
Her last album, I'm Still Here, was released in 2010. Unfortunately by then the star was better known for her dramatic personal life rather than her professional success.
In 1998, she was engaged to actor Dean Cain, but they apparently never married.
In 2004 she was convicted of prescription drug fraud and placed on parole. Three years later she spent time in jail for violating her parole terms.
She made headlines in April 2008 when she acknowledged a longtime relationship with baseball great Roger Clemens.
More recently the star became embroiled in a custody battle with her mother over her eldest child Zander.
The sheriff's office said McCready's body would be taken to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for an autopsy, adding that "the matter will be fully investigated."
with AP, Reuters
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