Country singer Mindy McCready dies of apparent suicide

Mindy McCready performing I'm Still Here in 2010

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US country singer Mindy McCready has died in a suspected suicide, according to police.

The 37-year-old died from an "apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound", Arkansas sheriff Marty Moss said.

Her death comes weeks after that of her boyfriend and father of one of her two sons, record producer David Wilson, whose death is being investigated.

The singer had attempted to take her own life twice before and was known to have problems with substance abuse.

The Cleburne County Sheriff's Office said McCready's body would be taken to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for an autopsy, adding that "the matter will be fully investigated."

She recorded five studio albums, and scored 12 hits on the US country music charts, including Ten Thousand Angels and Guys Do It All The Time.

Her sole UK chart appearance came in 1998, when Oh Romeo reached number 41.

Her fifth album, I'm Still Here, was released in 2010.

'Touched my soul'

Police said they had been called to the singer's house after reports of gunshots on Sunday afternoon.

They found the body of Malinda Gayle McCready on the front porch. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

TMZ reported she had shot her dog before turning the gun on herself.

After the death of her partner in January, McCready had told NBC's Dateline programme that she had "never gone through anything this painful.

"He didn't just touch my heart, he touched my soul."

She denied any involvement in Wilson's death.

Tributes have flooded in for the singer, with Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks saying: "Too much tragedy to overcome. RIP Mindy McCready."

Fellow country singer Carrie Underwood added: "I grew up listening to Mindy McCready... So sad for her family tonight. Many prayers are going out to them."

And songstress Wynonna Judd said: "Oh my! Mindy. Dear sweet girl. This is so sad. It just breaks my heart what addiction continues to take from this life."

McCready leaves two young sons, Zander, aged six, and Zayne, aged 10 months.

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