Mindy McCready: Country Music Star Falls From Top of Charts to Rock Bottom

Mindy McCready was living the dream of thousands of talented, beautiful, wanna be country music stars. For some reason though, Mindy McCready is failing to take advantage of the gift that has been given to her. Trouble seems to be following Mindy McCready wherever she goes these days. To say that Mindy she seems to be a woman whose life seems to be slipping beyond her control is an understatement.

McCready first broke into country music when she was 18. She got lucky when she met Nashville producer/songwriter Norro Wilson who was impressed by her talent. Wilson sent her demo tape to David Malloy, another Nashville producer. He helped Mindy McCready cut her first record and come up with a record deal. Her debut album, Ten Thousand Angels, was released in 1996 and went gold a year later.

Singles such as “Guys Do It All The Time,” made her an instant star in the world of country music but she has sense found it hard to equal that earlier success. In 2002 after a failed album, Capital records dropped Mindy McCready out of disappointment over the lack of success of album sales.

Her hit album, “A Thousand Angels” was a collection of songs that gave the impression that McCready would turn into an icon of independence and self-reliance. Her life over the last year has shown her to be anything but that and more than likely a woman suffering severe emotional distress and the syndrome that so many battered women find themselves victims of.

The problems started in August of 2004 when Mindy McCready was arrested and charged with one count of prescription drug fraud, which is a class D felony. She had presented a fraudulent prescription for the drug OxyContin in February 2004 to a pharmacy in Brentwood, Tennessee. The prescription was filled and she left the pharmacy with the OxyContin.

McCready plead guilty in that case on November 29, 2004. She was fined $4,000, sentenced to three years supervised probation and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

Within a few months she was arrested for drunk driving and driving with a suspended license in Belle Meade, an affluent neighborhood of West Nashville, Tennessee. She was released from jail after paying $3,500 in bail. No court date has been set as far as these charges.

It was plain to see that McCready was in a downward spiral of self-defeating and self-destructive behavior patterns. Evidence is that those patterns of behavior will continue to happen until Mindy McCready takes some positive and very serious steps to change her life and the internal issues she deals with that are causing her to make poor choices.

It wasn’t long before McCready was in the news again. This time she had been beaten and nearly strangled to death by a boyfriend she had recently broken up with. The boyfriend, William Patrick McKnight waited outside of her home on Sunday May 8, 2005 for her to come home. When she did he followed her inside and told her he was going to kill her and said, “You’re not to be going out with other guys.” He chased her upstairs into her bedroom, where he assaulted her. She was admitted to the hospital and released later that day and went into hiding.

McKnight was arrested that same night and charged with criminal attempted homicide and especially aggravated battery. He was held in jail until Monday night and then released on a $130,000 bond.

According to Mindy McCready the attack was something she “would never forget.” In an interview shortly after the attack she said that she hoped her experience would “inspire other women in the same situation to get help before it is too late.” She said, “If you are on of those women who is being battered in anyway, you should get help immediately, because you never know.”

She gave several radio and television interviews regarding the ordeal and openly admitted to having problems when it came to removing herself from what had been an abusive relationship with McKnight. During this time, shortly after the beating Mindy McCready was making a lot of noise about working with other battered women and even spoke of giving benefit concerts to help fund organizations in place to rescue women from abusive relationships.

This is where it all begins to get fuzzy. The details of her life and what all has actually happened since that beating in May are hard to follow. It seems that after the beating she was in Kingman, Arizona. The details of why she was there and exactly what happened are scant. It is reported though that she was arrested for, “unlawful use of a means of transportation and hindering prosecution.” McCready was due to be arraigned on those charges on July 29th but was unable to because she was recovering from an attempted suicide in a Tampa, Florida hospital. The arrangement for the charges in Arizona has been postponed until August 30.

The interesting and most telling thing of resent events is the fact that, when Mindy McCready attempted suicide she was visiting her mother in Florida and was accompanied by the same boyfriend who had beaten her in May. McKnight had been ordered to stay away from McCready but despite that order, he was at her side when she overdosed on drugs and alcohol in Florida.

McKnight identified himself to police in Florida as her fianc�© and told them they had been having relationship problems. He was also in possession of a four-page suicide note written by McCready. The contents of that note have not been revealed.

McCready was released from the hospital on the 26th of July. It has been reported by her mother, Gail Inge, that her daughter is very distraught and despondent. She is reportedly in hiding again and attempting to “heal” from this most recent troubling incident.

I’m not sure going into hiding is going to help “heal” Mindy McCready or make any change in the self-destructive path her life seems to have taken. In light of the fact that she is on probation for drug charges, is facing charges in Arizona and still has the outstanding DUI arrest here in Tennessee, Mindy McCready may soon have plenty of time to do some serious thinking about what role she has played in the downward spiral her life has taken. More than likely, there will be jail time in her future.

If any of us live long enough we will do things that will cause harm to our lives and defeat the plans we have set for our lives. Poor judgment and maladaptive responses to life’s problems combined with a desire to get out of experiencing the consequences of our poor choices only leads to more problems. In my opinion Mindy McCready seems to have gotten herself right smack in the middle of a cycle of self-destructive behavior that she seems ill equipped to deal with. Your normal average person is going to soon recognize their own contribution to the problems in their lives and make the needed adjustments in behavior that will mean an end to conflict and chaos. McCready does not seem to be able to do this.

McCready told the Philadelphia Inquirer that she did not attempt suicide, that it was actually, “divine intervention, God’s way of trying to get my attention and telling me that I’m supposed to be out there singing and entertaining.”

That divine intervention from God was not interpreted as a need for her to drop her abusive boyfriend though. According to McCready they are back together and although he did beat her up, he was, at no time trying to kill her. I’m one woman who happens to believe that her actions will have the opposite impact on all those battered women she was purportedly going to use her situation to help. In fact, Mindy McCready and her actions with the man who beat her and tried to strangle her will do more harm to woman all over this country than good and I have to wonder how many will end up staying in abusive relationships because Mindy McCready has chosen to set that example.

It’s often been written and said that people who are creative, as a whole, are more susceptible to being overly emotional at times. Having a very emotive personality is the double edge sword that accompanies all creative types and that can be either a blessing or a curse. One only has to read about the escapades of some of our more famous actors to know that to be true. Tom Cruise, for instance…

Whether Mindy McCready is overly emotional or no different from the rest of us, other than the fact that circumstances in her life have become overwhelming causing confusion and chaos, it is plain to this writer that McCready is in need of help. There is an obvious emotional recovery needed, be it caused by depression, drug abuse or just a young woman who’s lost the ability to make the proper choices in her life.

Hopefully the next press releases we read about Mindy McCready will be positive ones. Until she gets professional help I wouldn’t hold my breath though.
WTVF�¯�¿�½ TV5 Nashville, Tennessee

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