Last Songs, Lost Talents: Mindy McCready Joins Michael Hutchence, Billy Mackenzie, Phil Ochs

A Tribute to The Talented Ones


Country singer Mindy McCready's life had been a series of highs, lows, and headlines-but she makes that final bow as news of her suicide brought the artist's tumultuous journey to an abrupt end and her name on the list of musicians who struck their note too early in the game.

At 37, McCready joins the ranks of those who have died before their time, as she was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in her Arkansas home, reports CNN.

Arguably, McCready is one of those singers whose musical career has been sidetracked by personal problems. But McCready isn't alone.

Michael Hutchence

The death of Australia's own Michael Hutchence, front man of INXS, came as a shock, considering the events surrounding the time of his death. He had just returned for a 20th anniversary concert in lieu of the formation of the band, and he has just called together his family, then girlfriend Paula Yates and their 15-month-old daughter.

He was found hanging dead from the door of his hotel, reports BBC. Some still contest what happened, including his partner, who believes that the singer had died at a failed attempt at auto erotic asphyxiation.

Then again, Hutchence may believe in the saying that it's better to go out with a bang-despite all the hardships that they were going through, it was the time when his band was at the height of celebrity in Australia, his family was with him, and he is in the land he calls his own.

Billy Mackenzie

The lead singer of The Associates and a man who understood the importance of recording, as he experienced singing into a telephone booth to his record producer, according to Dangerous Minds. A talented genius, partnered with an equally talented prodigy Alan Rankine, it was no wonder how The Associates created a following of their own.

But it is also the fame that brought Mackenzie the eventual downfall. While Rankine still managed to get out before things turned black, Mackenzie had experienced the height of it all, culminating in the drug overdose that took his life.

People tend to remember Mackenzie for his bizarre voice, which can create a melody in itself and turn lyrics into unforgettable songs.

Ian Curtis

The evening of May 1980 found Ian Curtis, the lead and lyricist of Joy Division, hanging, dead, in his kitchen in Manchester. The 23-year-old had been one of the major players of the movement that propelled bands to deviate from punk and dabble with the melancholy of lyrics, which was fitting for Curtis's poetic tendencies.

However, even before his death, Curtis has already been feeling the stress and weight of the world. His then-bandmate Peter Hook writes in The Guardian that Curtis had attempted suicide three times.

Phil Ochs

He had been a known rival of fellow protest and folk singer Bob Dylan, who never seemed to reach the right amount of fame that Dylan enjoyed.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Ochs had succumbed to problems such as bipolar disorder, heavy drinking, and the burden of failure to live up to-and exceed-his rival. It was a kind of jealousy that both fueled and consumed him until the end, when he hanged himself at age 35.

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