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      Country singer Mindy McCready dies of apparent suicide

      Arkansas authorities say that country singer Mindy McCready was found dead with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

      A news release from the Cleburne County Sheriff's Office says that McCready, 37, was found dead Sunday afternoon with what appears to be a single, self-inflicted wound. She was found on the front porch of a home.

      Her death comes a month after that of David Wilson, her boyfriend and the father of her youngest son. He's believed to have shot himself on the same porch of the home they shared about 65 miles north of Little Rock, Ark., and his death also was investigated as a suicide.

      McCready hit the top of the country charts before personal problems sidetracked her career. In 1996, her "Guys Do It All the Time" hit No. 1 and its dig at male chauvinism endeared her to females.

      McCready's ex-boyfriend says she threatened to kill herself earlier this month after she lost custody of her sons, but was somehow released from rehab days before apparently following through on her threat.

      Billy McKnight, a former longtime boyfriend who shares a son with the country singer, says the mother of two stayed in court-ordered substance-abuse rehabilitation for about 18 hours before checking out.

      McKnight said Monday by phone from Tampa, Fla., that it was a "big mistake" to allow McCready to leave rehab, in light of her fiance David Wilson's recent suicide and the loss of her children.

      McKnight is working with authorities to get his son Zander out of foster care.