The very talented but troubled pop star Amy Winehouse was been found dead yesterday afternoon at her flat in Camden, north London, after a suspected drug overdose at the age of just 27.
Amy Jade Winehouse (14 September 1983 – 23 July 2011) was an English singer-songwriter, known for her powerful contralto vocals and her eclectic mix of musical genres including R&B, soul, and jazz.
After the wayward star collapsed at her flat, friends called the London Ambulance Service immediately but she died though help arrived in under 5 minutes. One friend said the singer, who had spent years battling heroin and alcohol addiction, had been taking ecstacy.
Amy’s distraught father Mitch Winehouse, a taxi driver and part-time singer, had predicted his daughter would die if she didn’t quit booze and drugs.
The weeping father said: “This isn’t real… I’m completely devastated. I’m coming home. I have to be with Amy. I can’t crack up for her sake.”
Amy’s death has been described as “unexplained” by the police. But the singer, who had the world at her feet after her massively successful 2006 album Back to Black, had been battling alcohol and drug addiction.
Her death has been met with shock among the music world and an outpouring of grief from fans worldwide.
Her pal Kelly Osbourne tweeted: “i cant even breath right my now im crying so hard i just lost 1 of my best friends. i love you forever Amy & will never forget the real you!”
Ex Premier Gordon Brown’s wife Sarah said on Twitter: “Sad, sad news of Amy Winehouse – great talent, extraordinary voice, and tragic death. Condolences to her family.”
Four days ago the singer, brought up in nearby Southgate by mum Janis, had appeared alongside her goddaughter Dionne Bromfield at the iTunes festival at the Camden Roudhouse where she urged the crowd to buy the young singer's album . Fans were delighted to see Amy, who stormed on stage and danced with the young artist. They said she seemed in great spirits.
That public appearance came after a string of incidents that alarmed friends. In May she admitted herself to The Priory clinic in South-West London and was pictured swigging a bottle of vodka moments before she arrived.
Weeks later her European tour was cancelled after a shambolic performance in Belgrade, Serbia, where she staggered on stage an hour late, appearing drunk and incoherent. Her 'performance' was booed by 20,000 irate fans - some who paid a week's salary to see her. Scores walked out in disgust. Then she told friends ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil, blamed for getting her hooked on hard drugs, was the only one who could save her.
She acknowledged struggling with eating disorders and told a newspaper that she had been diagnosed as manic depressive but refused to take medication. She became more famous for her erratic behaviour, cancelled concerts and drink-and-drug-fuelled nights than her music. Amy also appeared unhealthily thin, with scabs on her face and marks on her arms, wearing scruffy clothes. Her distinctive jet-black beehive hairstyle, thick eye make-up and many tattoos were her trademark.
She wed Blake Fielder-Civil in May 2007 in Miami. It is alleged that he introduced the Back to Black star to heroin and crack cocaine. The two were also known to be violent with each other when intoxicated. They divorced in August 2009.
The star had a troubled on-off relationship with Libertines singer Pete Doherty. The pair posted embarrassing videos on the internet, one of them playing with newborn mice.
Recently Amy found love with horror film director Reg Traviss — and promised to come up with her long-awaited third album this year.
Just hours before her death by her management team released a statement saying: “Amy Winehouse is withdrawing from all scheduled performances.”
Amy joins the notorious '27 Club' of musicians who have died at that age after struggling to cope with fame.
Other famous singers who all died at the same age of 27 include Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, who shot himself in 1994, Rolling Stones star Brian Jones, who drowned in a swimming pool in 1969, guitarist Jimi Hendrix, who choked to death in 1970 after mixing wine with sleeping pills, Doors star Jim Morrison, who died of heart failure in 1971, and singer Janis Joplin, who suffered a suspected heroin overdose in 1969.
Amy is survived by her father, Mitchell, mother, Janis, and older brother, Alex.
In her short lifetime, Amy Winehouse too often made headlines because of drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, destructive relationships and abortive performances. Her small but powerful body of recorded music will be her legacy.