Malinda Gayle McCready, 30 November 1975, Fort Meyers, Florida, USA. McCready emerged as one of the brightest new voices in country music in the late 90s, updating the traditional values of the genre for a new generation of listeners. Raised in southern Florida, she moved to Nashville when she was 18. Meeting up with producer David Malloy, she spent almost a year performing and preparing her demo tape, before signing with RLG Records. Released in April 1996, her debut, Ten Thousand Angels, was an assertive and confident collection that revealed McCready as an icon of female independence and self-reliance. The album gained strong reviews and by 1997 had gone platinum. The follow-up, If I Dont Stay The Night, was released in November 1997 to further acclaim and widespread commercial acceptance.
Although McCready does not write any of her own material, she covers songs such as What If I Do and This Is Me that deal frankly with relationships and sexual dilemmas. Her rising status was confirmed by support slots for George Strait, Alan Jackson and Tim McGraw. On 1999s disappointing Im Not So Tough, McCready seemed to have put more of an effort into the photographic poses on the album sleeve and the detailed liner notes. In the latter, she managed to thank the entire planet and repeated the dedication I love you an impressive 36 times. In this wave of saccharine benevolence the music was buried. She signed with Capitol Records in April 2000, releasing her debut album for the label two years later.
In 2004, McCready pleaded guilty to drug charges and consequently was fined, put on probation, and given a 200-hour community service. In 2005 her ex-boyfriend was charged with attempted homicide after McCready was treated in hospital for serious assault. In 2007 she was given a one year jail sentence for breaking her probation.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.