Whether another 1990’s casualty or a self-induced one, Mindy McCready’s fall differs from that of say, Paul Brandt, Ken Mellons, Darryl Dodd or Wesley Dennis; in a word, obscurity. It is said that any publicity is good publicity…you are the judge. This one-time Florida karaoke singer has managed to stay relevant or at the very least, in the public eye. Not for gold, platinum, or Top Ten sales, but for mug shots, felony arrest and reality show roles, being abused and as an abuser (prescription narcotic drugs), Mindy’s latest brush with fame resembles that of legends like Cash, Paycheck and Jones—not a bad fraternity. To survive and rise-up from the bottom to regain her place in country music will make a Cinderella story impact…and we may once again see Mindy McCready at the top of her game.
A natural talent, Malinda Gayle McCready (“Mindy”) made the decision early on she wanted to be a star. Fueled by what she described as an absolutely impossible, iron-bending career plan, she moved to Nashville when she was just 18 years old.
BNA Records signed Mindy McCready to its roster in 1996. Her debut album, TEN THOUSAND ANGELS, sold two million copies and boasted four country charting singles, most popularly “Ten Thousand Angels” and the No. 1 hit, “Guys Do It All the Time.” The momentum of her success was “to be continued” with her recordings of “Maybe He’ll Notice Her Now,” a duet with Richie McDonald, and “A Girl’s Gotta Do (What A Girl’s Gotta Do).” The album was the top selling debut by a single female artist, selling more records out of the box than any female star before her.
She was the Queen of the Moment and “in the moment,” wise decisions were admittedly not the show biz hallmark and clearly not hers. What ensued for McCready was great news followed by bad news; exhilaration extinguished by heartbreak; opportunity surrounded by confusion; triumph met by challenges.
1997 saw the release of McCready’s sophomore album, IF I DON’T STAY THE NIGHT. With three single releases, “What If I Do”, “The Other Side of This Kiss” and “You’ll Never Know,” she sold 825,000 copies.
By the time 1999 and her I’M NOT SO TOUGH CD was released, her relationship with RCA had turned sour. Failing to match the sales of the ’97 release, major changes were afoot. In 2002, she released a self-titled CD on Capitol Records, which also failed to meet expectations; they too parted company.
The rise was as hard as the fall for Mindy McCready. With high profile loves with musician David Malloy and “Superman” Dean Cain, the romantic in McCready eventually led her to aspiring country performer, Billy McKnight. The couple ignited an explosive relationship such that McKnight was later arrested for the attempted murder of McCready in 2005. The bow on the package is her son, Zander Ryan McCready, who was born on March 25, 2006; he remains the light of her life.
The turbulent relationship with McKnight, and subsequent traumatic stress, induced severe depression; a health condition McCready faces and battles from one day to the next. But as each day goes by, the demons are lessened as Mindy regains her inner strength and raises her stake in life to reconcile her past and take control of her future.
This year marks Mindy McCready’s triumphant return to her first love, music. After an eight-year recording hiatus, McCready unveils I’M STILL HERE. The album contains 13 tracks: nine new cuts (McCready has three co-writes), an acoustic “By Her Side,” her dramatic rendition of “The Dance” and modernized versions of her hits, “Guys Do It All The Time” and “Ten Thousand Angels.” A musical portrait of inner strength and intimacy, I’M STILL HERE is McCready’s welcomed homecoming.