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1. STARTING STRONG
Born in Fort Myers, Fla., Mindy McCready began singing at age 3 and soon set her sights on Nashville, releasing her debut country album, Ten Thousand Angels, in 1996. The disc sold 2 million copies and spawned the No. 1 single "Guys Do It All the Time." A year later, McCready's personal life also picked up with her engagement to Lois amp Clark: The New Adventures of Superman star Dean Cain. The fast and furious romance quickly fizzled in 1998. "They rushed into things," a source said.
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2. TRENDING DOWNWARD
McCready's follow-up albums failed to duplicate her initial success, and by 2002, she was dropped by her record label. Two years later, the 28-year-old found herself in several entanglements with the law, including an August 2004 arrest for prescription drug fraud, followed by a DUI, drug overdose and jail time in 2005. Simultaneously, McCready battled ex-boyfriend William McKnight in court after he assaulted her in May, and later learned she was pregnant with his child. Son Zander was born March 25, 2006.
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3. ALL THE WRONG REASONS
McCready faced more legal trouble in 2007 when she was arrested for violating her probation after getting into an altercation with her mother. But her most surprising moment proved to be the 2008 revelation that she had an affair with Major League Baseball player Roger Clemens, whom she met when she was 15. Later that year, she attempted to turn her life around, checking into rehab in July, but quickly backslid into trouble once more, serving 30 days in prison for a probation violation and attempting suicide in December.
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4. DISAPPEARING ACT
The singer reentered the spotlight in 2011, when, having lost custody of Zander, she went missing with the then-5-year-old. "I did not steal my child, as it would be impossible for me to kidnap what already belongs to me!" she told Access Hollywood, while her rep at the same time revealed McCready was pregnant with twins. The star and her son were found by police three days later, unharmed, and McCready delivered her second son, Zayne, with boyfriend David Wilson on April 9, 2012.
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5. LOVE & LOSS
At the start of 2013, McCready faced another tragic event, when Wilson died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Jan. 13. "David was my soulmate," she said in a statement. Weeks later, McCready was committed to a treatment facility to cope with mental health and alcohol issues. Tragically, on Feb. 17, the troubled singer took her own life at age 37.