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Friday, July 29, 2011

Amy Winehouse tragic death at 27

ROUBLED pop star Amy Winehouse has been found dead at her home in Camden, north London.

The Rehab singer, 27, was discovered at the property in north London by emergency services at around 3.54pm on Saturday afternoon.

She is feared to have died from a binge on drugs and booze.

A Sunday tabloid reported that she was seen buying substances, believed to be cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and ketamine, from a dealer in Camden just after 10:30pm on Friday.

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The Grammy-winning star had a well-publicised battle with drink and drugs during her short life.

Just weeks ago pals feared she was drinking herself to death after blacking out on vodka three times in a week.

In a statement this afternon her family said: "Our family has been left bereft by the loss of Amy, a wonderful daughter, sister, niece. She leaves a gaping hole in our lives.

"We are coming together to remember her and we would appreciate some privacy and space at this terrible time."

Police described Amy's death as "unexplained".

Amy was pronounced dead on the scene when police and ambulance crew arrived shortly after 4pm.

A police statement on Saturday night said: "Police were called by London Ambulance Service to an address in Camden Square NW1 shortly before 16.05hrs today, Saturday 23 July, following reports of a woman found deceased.

"On arrival officers found the body of a 27-year-old female who was pronounced dead at the scene.

"Enquiries continue into the circumstances of the death."

A spokesman for the late singer said: "Everyone involved with Amy is shocked and devastated.

"Our thoughts are with her family and friends."

Amy's management company Metropolis Music released a statement on Sunday saying: "We are trying to come to terms with the death of a dear friend and colleague, the most amazing artist and talent.

A short life in music
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It is in the nature of human beings to draw lines between the public and personal, between what they feel and what they project, between the image they cultivate and the reality that lies beneath. One of the unique things about the short and deeply troubled life of Amy Winehouse — who was found dead in her London home of yet unknown causes — was her capacity to dissolve these lines. She was what she was, displaying a raw and almost childlike honesty that lay at the core of her music and was responsible for much of its appeal. If there has been such a huge outpouring of grief over the 27-year-old singer and songwriter's tragic demise, it was partly because people felt they knew her, the aesthetic of her sultry and wounded music inextricably wrapped with the turmoil of a life marked by drink, drug abuse, and volatile relationships. If she explored the dark reality of her substance abuse in her anthemic hit single Rehab (“They tried to make me go on rehab, I said ‘No no no'.”), she addressed betrayal and relationships in another distressingly touching track, You Know That I'm No Good from her Grammy-award winning Back to Black album (“I told you I was trouble”). She was no purveyor of cute fruity pop, but a reflective musician, whose bluesy jazz-inflected compositions evoked a mood of a time gone by and earned her the title of the “Queen of Modern Retro.”

The tabloid press fed greedily off her disturbed life. It was obsessed with the so-called Amy Winehouse look — the shabby mass of hair that sat like a beehive on her head (which compensated, or so she thought, for her diminutive stature); the showy eyeliner that spread like wings from the corner of her eyes; and her kitschy designer clothesline. But it is her music, searingly intelligent and soul baring, that will survive — her tragic and premature death only adding to the iconic status she had acquired in her brief career. With a repertoire of just two studio albums (a third may be issued posthumously), Winehouse's place in the history of rhythm and blues may not be as firmly etched as some others in the so-called 27s Club, that group of influential musicians who died at the age of 27. This club includes giants such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison (of the Doors), and Kurt Cobain (of Nirvana). But Amy was well on the way to superstardom, thanks to her unique ability to pour her life into her music. It is quality that made her compositions speak directly to her vast legions of fans on either side of the Atlantic and pretty much all over the world. It made them love her music because — as one enthusiast declared in that splendid 2007 documentary I Told You I Was Trouble — “she's real, she's the truth.”

LONDON (KTLA) -- Toxicology results are still pending, but family members reportedly believe Amy Winehouse died from alcohol withdrawal, not drugs.

Winehouse's family told The Sun that the singer quit drinking cold turkey instead of gradually tapering off her consumption, which her doctors recommended.

A source close to the singer's family told The Sun: "Abstinence gave her body such a fright they thought it was eventually the cause of her death."

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Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include anxiety, depression, fatigue, delirium, headache and nausea. It can also cause tremors and convulsions, which can prove fatal.

An official cause of death could take weeks to determine. Police say an autopsy has been completed, but officials are awaiting toxicology results.

"Inquiries continue into the circumstances of the death," Scotland Yard said in a statement Sunday. At this stage, the death "is being treated as unexplained and there have been no arrests in connection with the incident," police said.

The 27-year-old singer was found dead in her London apartment last Saturday.

Winehouse's family said in a statement that it "has been left bereft by the loss of Amy, a wonderful daughter, sister, niece. She leaves a gaping hole in our lives. We are coming together to remember her and we would appreciate some privacy and space at this terrible time."

"We are trying to come to terms with the death of a dear friend and colleague, the most amazing artist and talent," her management company, Metropolis Music, said. "We will always remember Amy as a vibrant, funny, caring young woman who made everyone around her feel welcome. We have lost a very special person, part of our family."

Winehouse's soulful, throaty vocals brought the British musician stardom in 2007, but her troubled off-stage life -- chronicled in her Top 10 hit "Rehab" -- won her notoriety. Her death came less than two months after her latest release from a rehabilitation program and weeks after she was booed offstage by disappointed fans in Belgrade, Serbia.

Winehouse died at the same age as at least four other music legends. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison each died of drug overdoses when they were 27. Kurt Cobain was 27 when he committed suicide, soon after his release from rehab.

Her song "Rehab," in which she sang "They tried to make me go to rehab, I said no, no, no," helped form the public's view of Winehouse. She told CNN in a 2007 interview, "I don't care enough about what people think of me to conform to anything."

The London-born singer was a tattooed teenage rebel after she was expelled from a prestigious performing arts school. Her first album, "Frank," debuted in 2003, when the singer-songwriter was 19.

International success came with her 2007 album "Back to Black." She dominated the 2008 Grammys, winning five awards that night and delivering, via satellite from London, a strong performance of "Rehab."

Winehouse's volatile marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil took a toll on the singer's career. The couple divorced in 2009 after a stormy two years filled by drug addiction and arrests.

Winehouse's parents went public with their efforts to help their daughter, telling the London Telegraph in 2009 that she was on the road to recovery.

"A gradual recovery, which is good," Winehouse's father told the Telegraph. "With slight backward steps -- not drug backward steps, more drink backward steps if you follow my drift. I think that will be the pattern of recovery."

The organization that awards the Grammys issued a statement Saturday calling Winehouse "a dynamic performer and musician who seamlessly blended rock, jazz, pop, and soul and created a sound all her own."

"Her rich, soulful and unique voice reflected her honest songwriting and earned her a devoted fan following, critical acclaim, and the genuine respect and admiration of her musical peers," the Recording Academy statement said. "She will forever be remembered for her immense talent, and her music will live on for generations to come. Our deepest sympathies go out to her family, friends, and fans during this difficult time."

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