The Sad End of Mindy McCready

Just heard that Mindy McCready has committed suicide. I’m heartbroken.

Though I worked in Nashville in the mid-1990s, and covered music briefly, I never met McCready. She was, for a spell, the hot newcomer in town; not known for her talent as much as for her blonde hair, curvy figure and flirtatious songs. She happened to have a beautiful voice, and used it to secure a couple of singles. By way of comparison, she reminds me of the young singer portrayed by Hayden Panettiere in the ABC TV show, Nashville.

I wrote about McCready long after I left The Tennessean, when I was working on my Roger Clemens biography, The Rocket that Fell to Earth. Clemens engaged in an affair with McCready when she was, I believe, 15 or 16 and he was in his late 20s or early 30s. I read a good amount about the woman—about her flirtatious ways, about her myriad men and myriad addictions, about a nightmarish upbringing with a mother who would take her along to bars as she sought out men. Hers was an awful childhood and, ultimately, an awful adulthood. She was used by men, used by friends, used by music companies. I can’t imagine she ever trusted a single person.

With, sadly, good reason.

Now she’s gone.