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Singer Amy Winehouse found dead aged 27

24 july 2011, 11:34
Troubled British singer Amy Winehouse, whose drink and drug addictions overshadowed her exceptional sultry voice, was found dead at her London home at the age of 27, AFP reports.
The Grammy award-winning soul singer, with her trademark beehive hairstyle, had laid bare her demons in her music, notably her biggest hit single "Rehab".

Reports suggested that the soul singer died of a drug overdose, but police said it was inappropriate to speculate on the circumstances of her death, which is being treated as unexplained.

Winehouse was found dead at her home in Camden, north London, on Saturday. Fans soon began to gather and lay flowers candles and teddy bears at the police cordon outside, while friends and fellow stars voiced their shock and sadness.

A London Ambulance Service (LAS) spokeswoman told AFP they were called to her home at 3:54 pm (1454 GMT) Saturday and sent two ambulance crews which arrived within five minutes.

"Sadly the patient had died," the spokeswoman said.

Forensic officers were seen going in and out of her home before a black private ambulance pulled up outside. Two officials in black suits then brought out a body bag on a stretcher.

The LAS called the police within minutes of reaching her house.

"On arrival, officers found the body of a 27-year-old female who was pronounced dead at the scene. Next of kin have been informed, and I can confirm that the deceased is Amy Winehouse," Superintendent Raj Kohli told reporters at the cordon.

"Enquiries continue into the circumstances of her death. At this early stage it is being treated as unexplained and there have been no arrests in connection with the incident.

"I am aware of reports suggesting this death is the result of a suspected drugs overdose, but I would like to re-emphasize that no post-mortem examination has yet taken place and it would be inappropriate to speculate on the cause of death."

One neighbor reported hearing screaming coming from the house in the early hours of Saturday.

The singer had a 12-date European comeback tour scheduled but pulled out following a disastrous opening performance in Serbia on June 18.

In the run-up to her live return, Winehouse spent a week at an addiction treatment clinic in London, reportedly at the suggestion of her father, Mitch, over concerns that she was drinking too much.

A spokesman for the late singer said her father was aware of her death and making his way back from New York.

"Everyone involved with Amy is shocked and devastated. Our thoughts are with her family and friends. The family will issue a statement when ready," he said.

Her record label Universal said in a statement: "We are deeply saddened at the sudden loss of such a gifted musician, artist and performer. Our prayers go out to Amy's family, friends and fans at this difficult time."

Winehouse rocketed to fame after winning five Grammy awards off the back of her 2006 second album "Back to Black" and the hit single "Rehab".

Her comeback tour lasted one performance last month when she was booed at the opening performance in Belgrade, apparently too drunk to sing. She stumbled her way through the 90-minute gig, mumbling the lyrics and failing to follow her band.

In cancelling the rest of the tour, her representatives said: "Everyone involved wishes to do everything they can to help her return to her best and she will be given as long as it takes for this to happen."

She made her final public appearance at The Roundhouse venue in Camden on Wednesday, joining her goddaughter Dionne Bromfield on stage. She briefly danced and encouraged the audience to buy the 15-year-old's album.

Producer Mark Ronson, who worked closely with Winehouse, said: "She was my musical soulmate and like a sister to me. This is one of the saddest days of my life."

Known for her distinctive, smoky voice, Winehouse's debut album "Frank" was released in 2003 and brought her wide acclaim. It went triple platinum in Britain.

The follow-up, "Back to Black", was a worldwide smash hit, reaching number one in Britain and number two in the US charts. It went six times platinum in Britain and double platinum in the United States.

She married Blake Fielder-Civil in Miami in May 2007 but they had a tempestuous relationship. He spent part of their marriage behind bars for a vicious attack on a pub landlord and a subsequent attempt to cover it up.

They divorced in July 2009.

She joins the notorious "27 Club" -- the tragic group of famous rock stars who passed away at the age of 27.

Rolling Stones founding member Brian Jones, guitarist Jimi Hendrix, singer Janis Joplin, The Doors singer Jim Morrison, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain and blues king Robert Johnson are the other major "members" of the ill-fated club.

Amy Winehouse was a "wild spirit" who followed her own path in life, her stage school principal said after the troubled young British soul singer was found dead.

Winehouse attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School in London, earning a half-scholarship before leaving at the age of 15.
"She was a wild spirit, she was her own person, she would follow what she wanted to do, there was no question about that," Young told BBC television.

"She was extremely bright and wrote brilliantly and that is why her lyrics are so clever and meaningful, apart from the fabulous voice."

Young said that everyone at the school was "devastated".

US singer Carole King told BBC television that news of the star's death as "really tragic".

She said she was "very grateful" Winehouse had put her "wonderful talent" into recording a version of "Will You Love Me Tomorrow", a song co-written by King and Gerry Goffin.

"She did such a beautiful performance on it. I'm just grateful she gave that gift to Gerry and me and to the world. I just really hope that she's found peace now wherever she is," she said.

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