Mindy McCready, who died Sunday of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, was known in recent years more for her personal troubles than for her musical career. However, In the mid-’90s she enjoyed a string, albeit relatively brief, of hits on Billboard’s country charts, arriving in 1996 with a pair of top 10 singles and a top 10 album at the format.
McCready charted 12 titles on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart from 1996 to 2002, including three top 10s: “Ten Thousand Angels” (No. 6, 1996), “Guys Do It All the Time” (No. 1, 1996) and “A Girl’s Gotta Do (What a Girl’s Gotta Do)” (No. 4, 1997).
She placed seven sets on Top Country Albums (including compilations), with her debut, “Ten Thousand Angels,” marking her lone top 10 (No. 5, 1996). After an eight-year gap, she returned to the chart in 2010 with “I’m Still Here,” which spent a week at No. 71 that April. The latter title marks her sole Billboard chart placement on any ranking since 2002.
McCready sold 1.8 million albums in the U.S. in her career, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Of that sum, 1.2 million sum came courtesy of “Ten Thousand Angels.”
“We … neglect to remember that our song(s) might actually mean something to people. Instead, we try to cut a ‘hit song,'” McCready told Billboard in a March 1996 interview, as her debut hit was scaling Hot Country Songs. “When I cut every song on my (first) record, I wanted them to be something that I could identify with, (to create) a bond that I would have with each of my fans as an artist.”