Police seize country singer Mindy McCready's son in Arkansas, capping Florida centered story of decline
The story details sound like lyrics to a bad country song.
And, of course, much of it happened in Florida.
News that police had seized the 5-year-old son of Florida-bred country singer Mindy McCready in Arkansas Friday night capped a growing national story of decline with a twist centered on the Sunshine State.
McCready, a Ft. Myers native who moved to Nashville as a teen, saw her debut record, 1996's Ten Thousand Angels sell 2 million copies. But in recent years, her personal decline has drawn more attention than her music, capped by McCready's decision days ago to take her son Zander from the state in violation of court orders placing the boy with her mother.
Billy McKnight, McCready's ex-boyfriend and father to Zander, conducted an interview with NBC's Today show from Tampa, where he said the singer was "pushing her luck," in taking the boy while alleging he had been abused by her mother, Gayle Inge. Mother and daughter have fought over custody issues for years. In 2007, Inge was granted custody of Zander; they live in Lee County.
Local journalists have closely chronicled McCready's rise and fall, which included a 2005 overdose on a cocktail of drugs and alcohol in the lobby of an Indian Rocks Beach hotel. Back then, Times pop music critic Sean Daly wrote of McCready:
"So how does someone who lit up country radio with a string of fun, feisty hits fall so hard, so fast?
"She became a queen and a prima donna," says local radio personality Dave McKay, one half of the Randy & Dave Show on country music station WQYK-FM in Tampa. "She was too young" and her rise to fame was "too quick," McKay adds.
"She was like the Tasmanian Devil."
After the big coming-out party of Ten Thousand Angels, McCready released three albums over six years, none of which goosed the record-buying public like the first one. McCready would still make the news occasionally - but mainly for bickering with a series of fed-up record labels They wanted to sell her as a sex symbol; she wanted to be sold as a serious artist. With so many Shania wannabes and Mindy maybes waiting in the wings, Nashville has little patience with whiny divas who aren't selling records."