I was deeply saddened to hear about the death of Mindy McCready this weekend.
On Feb. 17, McCready committed suicide, turning a gun on herself on her front porch weeks after the father of her second child, David Wilson, also committed suicide in the home.
I wasn’t a big fan…not because I didn’t like her voice, but simply because I was not very familiar with her music. What initially caught my attention were the headlines. MCCREADY’S BOYFRIEND ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER FOLLOWING ATTACK ON COUNTRY SINGER. COUNTRY STAR OVERDOSE. MCCREADY AFFAIR WITH BASEBALL GREAT. POLICE ON LOOKOUT FOR COUNTRY SINGER AND HER SON.
While her music took center stage in the late 1990s, it was her tumultuous personal life in the following decade that took center stage in the media. Struggling with addiction to alcohol and OxyContin, the singer attempted suicide on several occasions, and drifted from one dysfunctional romantic relationship to the next. In 2003, her boyfriend, country singer Billy McKnight, was arrested for attempted murder after an altercation where he beat and choked her nearly to death. A decade-long affair with the married (and fallen from grace) baseball icon Roger Clemens has been well documented but still is repeatedly denied by Clemens.
(side note: Clemens’ response to her suicide shines as another example of his lack of integrity, compassion, and ability to behave like a normal person.
“I had heard over time that she was trying to get peace and direction in her life. The few times that I had met her and her manager/agent they were extremely nice.”
Seriously, what a complete jerk and useless human being.)
I watched McCready’s appearance on the third season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. While some of her cast mates quickly displayed feelings of self-importance, using obnoxious behavior in a desperate bid for attention, McCready was soft-spoken, compassionate, and exhibited a genuinely likable (and extremely damaged) persona.
She seemed so sweet and so hurt that I found myself just wanting to reach through the screen and give her a hug to let her know someone cared.
The media certainly didn’t. To tabloid shows and the Internet, she became a cartoon, a pathetic display of celebrity gone wrong. In a particularly despicable move, the Today Show interviewed McCready shortly after her boyfriend’s suicide and insinuated that she may have contributed to his death. Another classy move from what was once a great news program, now an embarrassment to NBC.
Mindy was only 37 years old and leaves behind two young children and five top-20 country singles.
I think that is much more important than sex tapes, affair allegations, and legal papers that are irrelevant now, anyway.