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Lost soul
Mindy McCready, dead at 37

Date published: 2/24/2013

SOME TRAGEDIES you can see coming from far off, like a pin-wheeling plane that has missed the runway, or a skydiver plummeting earthward with an unopened chute. And so it was with country music's Mindy McCready.

Miss McCready, 37, took her own life on the front porch of her Heber Springs, Ark., home last Sunday, her suicide the culmination of a 16-year downward slide. The twangy-voiced blonde emerged on the scene in the late-1990s along with Faith Hill, Shania Twain, and the Dixie Chicks. The fresh-faced, pretty singer's debut album, "Ten Thousand Angels," went platinum.

But the frailty in Miss McCready's soul soon began to overshadow her talent. The demons of drug and alcohol abuse took over. A violent relationship with a boyfriend, a drunken-driving arrest, jail time, and two attempts at suicide created a dark abyss from which she could find no exit.

With her music career fizzling, her "soul mate" (new boyfriend David Wilson) dead, and her two little boys in foster care, life apparently proved too much to bear. "I need 10,000 angels watching over me tonight," Miss McCready crooned in 1996. Perhaps she has them now.