Source: Agencies | 2013-2-19 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
PERHAPS there was one heartbreak too many for Mindy McCready.
The former country music star appears to have taken her own life on Sunday afternoon in Heber Springs, Arkansas in the United States. Authorities say McCready died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot to the head and an autopsy is planned. She was 37, the mother of two young sons.
If confirmed, it was at least her fourth suicide attempt since 2005, ending a series of tumultuous public events that marked much of the singer's adult life.
In 2010, McCready smiled wryly while talking about the string of issues she'd dealt with over the last half-decade.
"It is a giant whirlwind of chaos all the time," she said of her life. "I call my life a beautiful mess and organized chaos. It's just always been like that. My entire life things have been attracted to me and vice versa that turn into chaotic nightmares or I create the chaos myself. I think that's really the life of a celebrity, of a big, huge, giant personality."
This time it seems the whirlwind overwhelmed McCready.
Her death comes a month after that of David Wilson, her longtime boyfriend and the father of her youngest son. He is believed to have shot himself at the home they shared in the small wooded community of lakefront houses about 100 kilometers north of Little Rock, Arkansas, and his death also was investigated as a suicide.
McCready issued a statement last month lamenting his death. And she called him her soul mate and a caregiver to her sons in an interview with NBC's "Today" show.
"I just keep telling myself that the more suffering that I go through, the greater character I'll have," she said, according to a transcript of the interview.
Like so many times before, McCready showed a little toughness in the midst of a personal storm, again endearing herself to her fans. It's unclear what circumstances led to McCready taking her own life, but it appears she was struggling again with substance abuse and the custody of her children. She checked into court-ordered rehab and gave her children up to foster care this month after her father asked a judge to intervene, saying she'd stopped taking care of her sons and was abusing alcohol and prescription drugs.
It's not clear where her sons, Zander, six, and infant Zayne, were on Sunday.
News of McCready's death spread quickly on Twitter, with major country stars paying their respects.
"Too much tragedy to overcome. RIP Mindy McCready," wrote Natalie Maines of The Dixie Chicks.