In Memoriam: Mindy McCready, 1975-2013

Mindy McCready

The very sad news that Mindy McCready has taken her own life has been reported by several sources.  Our hearts go out to her family and those close to her, especially her two young children.

Rather than focus on her troubled life, it seems most fitting to acknowledge this tragedy by spotlighting the bright spots in her life, particularly her musical talents.  While her music career is sparse compared to others who’ve been in the business as long as she has, her out put is noteworthy all the same.

In 2010, she released an album that went largely unnoticed, but I’m Still Here was a strong set of songs that found McCready in fine voice.  Included on the well produced project was a cover of Garth Brooks’ “The Dance,” along with some gems such as the regretful “Wrong Again,” the wistful “By Her Side,” and the stormy “I Want a Man.”

Of course, the height of Mindy’s success was in the mid nineties with memorable songs such as “Ten Thousand Angels,” “Guys Do It All the Time,” and “Maybe He’ll Notice Her Now.”

Perhaps the most fitting tribute that Country Universe can pay to Mindy is the fact that the origins of our Six Pack series began with her music.  Kevin said it best, in May of 2008, when he wrote, “Mindy McCready made some great music back in her day, and I look forward to hearing more from her.  Quite frankly, she deserves to be known by her work, not her personal life.  Check out these six solid moments from her career and you’ll see what I mean.”

So, may we all follow Kevin’s advice, and know Mindy McCready for her work, not her personal life.


  1. Loved her, loved all her albums. I think ‘If I Don’t Stay The Night” was her best one but each of them were strong. It’s a shame her 3rd album isn’t as well known, “All I Want Is Everything” and “I’m Not So Tough” are great. Her capitol album was surprisingly adventurous, or at least I thought so. And she put out a great swan song as ‘I’m Still Here’ may not have been her strongest album but it had her best song. “By Her Side”.

    I got to meet her two years ago and at the time I wished her well and told her how much her music means to me. She was so grateful to hear that. I hope she knew how much her fans loved her music.

    R.I.P. Mindy I hope you’ve found your peace.

  2. While Mindy McCready wasn’t one of my personal favorite artists, her music was apart of what made me love country music. 90’s Country music artistically and sonically has over the years struck the perfect balance for me when it comes to country music. The sights, sounds and senses of 90’s country music has only grown in me over the years the more I delve into it. Mindy’s songs, while not head of the class, were certainly apart of that exposure for me.

    “Then Thousand Angels”, “Guys Do It All the Time”, “You’ll Never Know” and “Maybe He’ll Notice Her Now” were some of the McCready songs that I enjoyed. It is so very sad to see this happen to her. May she rest in peace.

  3. Thanks for doing such a wonderful job on this tribute post, Leeann. You summed it up very well.

    I started listening to more of Mindy’s music after reading Kevin’s Six Pack a while back, and I fell in love with several songs that I probably would not have discovered otherwise. I couldn’t agree more with his statement that McCready deserves to be known by her music, not her personal life – which I always wanted to believe would come together eventually, and I think she believed so as well.

    It’s a terrible tragedy that it had to end with her taking her own life, and I can only pray that her two children are able to cope with such a devastating loss.

  4. She really was exceptionally talented.

    Her voice had an excellent range and quality, and an elasticity, for lack of a better word, better than any of her mid-nineties contemporaries. She could run through a series of notes and inflections in a single syllable (examples: “ten thousand a-an-gels“, the outro to You’ll Never Know) and make it sound like the most natural, beautiful thing in the world.

  5. Mindy McCready is the only country music star who gave me her autograph. I got to speak with her briefly after waiting in line for an hour; I remember her saying she would stay until the last person wanted an autograph. I told her that I appreciated her volunteer work at Saint Jude Hospital. Mindy looked at me with what I think is the one of the most beautiful faces that was ever created, and said to me, “Allan your just a Sweaty Pie”, with a Sexy Tennessee accent.
    This was in San Diego California, some time in the late 90’s before I moved to Florida, I just got into Country Music for the first time in my life especially the lyrics. My late wife had just died; I found a form of music in which all the pain I ever felt in my life was being expressed. For me it was beyond cathartic it was healing.
    For me country music is more than just a nice song here and there it is in some ways a universal music therapy; a way of coping with all the trials and afflictions that life throws at you. Mindy was part of that tradition. It is sad that it will take her death to remember how great a singer she was. Her kind words to me when I got her autograph still bring me such joy that it is beyond description. I will remember forever those beautiful eyes looking at me. This is the same happiness she brought all her fans. Mindy’s personal demons will never take away from what she was an Angel whose wings were got tragically tangled. Mindy McCready’s wings are now forever untangled and she is souring beyond all limits.

  6. She was clearly a troubled young woman, battling a lot of demons; and the fact that she took her life and left her kids without parents just makes it much more tragic. But I for one am not going to sit in judgment in what she did, because we can never know for sure the actual extent of her problems. It’s not up to us.

    One place that I think showed where Mindy might have gone had things in life panned out far better is on her 1997 album If I Don’t Stay The Night. Among that album’s tracks is a fairly faithful rendition of “Long Long Time”, a gut-wrenching ballad made into a country-rock standard (and a #25 pop hit in 1970) by Linda Ronstadt. It takes a lot of nerve to record that song; and even if Mindy’s version didn’t supersede Linda’s, it showed that she was willing to take a fair amount of chances with the material she chose to record.

    Here’s hoping that she has found a better place for herself. And we should remember her, and appreciate her, for what she actually bought to the table in terms of her admittedly and tragically short career, not simply lament for what happened to her.

  7. Erik,

    In a very classy Facebook status last night, Pam Tillis mentions mindy performing that song:

    “I remember one of my first shows in the beginning of my touring career. There were several new artist on the bill and Mindy McCready was one of them. I remember being beside the stage waiting to do my sound check. She was doing her sound check and did the Linda Ronstadt song A Long Long Time. It was SO good and so beautiful, she had real talent that unfortunately got pegged into a bimbo image. They wanted to make her the blonde Shania and that was just a dead end street for her……….He­r singing really moved me and I never forgot it. I’m very sad that she never recovered from her substance abuse issues. I hate it that it is another beautiful voice squandered and especially for her children. People kick people when they’re down and that’s really too bad……….It­’s not for us to judge. I hope she rest in peace.”

  8. Pam’s right in too many ways about how the industry tailors new artists to be the “next this” or “next that”, or, in Mindy’s case, the “blonde Shania”. It can be an extremely cruel place for anyone who wants to carve out a niche of their own, as it seemed to be the case for Mindy. I only hope she is able to find her peace now, given that she never did find it in this life.

  9. Super sad about this. It is times like this when people realize, “wow, that was a real person.” I know that the public was interested in her scandals. But I also think that she had some amazing charisma. That’s what makes this all the more sad. I think people would have rooted for her to come back in a major way, but she just did not have a proper foundation to stage a real return to the music world.

    I saw a(British, I think) documentary series about Nashville years ago really showed how troubled she was from the start. She was not able to get it together on a personal basis even early on.

    I have been listening to some of her music. Her version of “The Dance” is beautiful. After hearing that, I feel that everyone should have to record “The Dance” at least once in their career. Because when played after their death, it is always beautiful.

    And I just discovered that Rondstadt cover. Just gorgeous.

  10. Very sad about Mindy. Hope things turn out well for her kids. Outside of Ten Thousand Angels I don’t know much about her music and never saw her perform, even on TV. Based on the comments above, I’ll have to listen to some of the songs mentioned.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.