Mindy McCready's ex-boyfriend says her apparent suicide "didn't come as a major shock".

The 37-year-old country singer was found dead on the porch of her Arkansas home yesterday. Police responded to reports of gunshots at the property and it is thought Mindy killed her dog before taking her own life.

Her former partner Billy McKnight appeared on the Today show this morning to discuss the events. He and Mindy have six-year-old son Zander together and Billy admits feeling no surprise about the news.

"As sad as it is, it didn't come as a major shock," he said. "She's just been battling demons for so long.

"I was around her when she attempted suicide twice, so I knew it was in her."

Mindy had a well-publicised battle with addiction and is known to have attempted to take her own life on several occasions in the past. She and Billy had a troubled relationship and he was arrested for her attempted murder after assaulting her in 2005.

She had been experiencing a fraught time of late, following the death of her fiancé David Wilson in January. His passing is still being investigated by police, although it is thought he also killed himself on the same porch where Mindy's body was found.

The country singer and David have ten-month-old Zayne together and following David's death both children were removed from Mindy's custody and placed in foster care. The star was ordered to spend time in rehab to get help for mental health and alcohol issues after admitting turning to drink to help her deal with her grief.

"The demons that she hasn't beaten were there," Billy said.

"I feel for her mother and her family and especially my son. He needs to come home."

Billy was asked if he felt Mindy was allowed to leave the treatment facility early and simply said he knew she was often able to talk people round to her way of thinking.

He added he is working to get Zander back but at the moment does not know what will happen to Zayne.

A host of stars have paid tribute to the late star on Twitter, with fellow country musicians LeAnn Rimes and Carrie Underwood among those to pay their respects.

"My heart goes out to Mindy McCready's family. I knew her well. It's a horribly tragedy. May peace be with her son's (sic)," LeAnn wrote.

Carrie told her followers: "I grew up listening to Mindy McCready... so sad for her family tonight. Many prayers are going out to them..."