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Amy Winehouse, 27, found dead at her London flat after suspected 'drug overdose'

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Amy Winehouse has been found dead at her home in London.

The Back To Black singer was found at the property by emergency services at 3.54pm, and it’s believed Winehouse’s death was due to a suspected drug overdose.

Winehouse was apparently ‘beyond help’ when paramedics arrived, according to Sky sources.

Sources have also claimed Winehouse’s death was due to a drug overdose.

Two ambulance crews arrived at the scene within five minutes and a paramedic on a bicycle also attended, according to a spokeswoman.

‘Sadly the patient had died,’ she added.

A statement from Winehouse’s U.S. record label read: ‘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.’

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police 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. At this early stage it is being treated as unexplained.’

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said in a press conference this evening that no cause of death had yet been confirmed.

He said: ‘I am aware of reports of a suspected drugs overdose, but I would like to reremphaise that no post-mortem has yet taken place and it would be inapproporaite to speculate on the cause of death.

‘The death of any person is a sad time of friends and family especially for someone known nationally and internationally like Amy Winehouse. My sympathy extends not only to her family but also to her millions of fans across the world.’

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

‘Our thoughts are with her family and friends. The family will issue a statement when ready.’

It has also been claimed on gossip website RadarOnline.com that Winehouse’s autopsy could take place within the next 24 hours.

A Scotland Yard spokesman is quoted by the website as saying: ‘The postmortem has not been scheduled yet but it is unlikely to take place before tomorrow.

‘In the case of a murder it can be done within hours but this is not the case so tomorrow or even Monday is more likely in these circumstances.’

A section of the road where the singer lived remained cordoned off tonight. Journalists, local residents and fans gathered at the police tapes, while forensic officers were seen going in and out of the building.

One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said she saw the singer’s grief-stricken boyfriend, believed to be film director Reg Traviss, on the ground outside the house.

Two women then came ‘speeding’ up in a black Mercedes and walked in and out of the house crying. They said they believed the singer was at home last night.

Winehouse’s father, Mitch, is understood to be returning to the UK from New York. He had been due to perform at the Blue Note jazz club in the city on Monday.

A message has been placed on the club’s website, reading: ‘We are very sad to report that the Mitch Winehouse performance on Monday July 25th is cancelled due to the unexpected death of his daughter, Amy Winehouse.

‘Our condolences go out to Mitch and his family.’ Mitch is now on his way back from New York.

Winehouse had been seen with her goddaughter Dionne Bromfield earlier this week as the teenager took to the stage at the iTunes festival.

She refused to join in for Mama Said, but did support the 14-year-old with a few dance moves before urging the crowd to buy Dionne’s new album Good For The Soul.

A source said: ‘Amy staggered onstage and grabbed the mic to beg the crowd to buy her protege’s new album.’

Winehouse’s appearance at the concert came after she cancelled her European tour following a disastrous performance in June when she stumbled onto the stage in Belgrade and gave an incoherent performance appearing very disorientated and removed from reality.

Following the concert which saw fans enraged and the subsequent video that circulated to millions she cancelled the remaining dates of her European tour.

A statement released by the troubled singer’s spokesperson at the time said that the singer would be given ‘as long as it takes’ to recover.

The statement read: ‘Amy Winehouse is withdrawing from all scheduled performances.

‘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.’

Shambolic: Amy was booed off stage during a shambolic performance in Belgrade in June.

Winehouse had been working on her long-awaited new album, the follow-up to her 2006 breakthrough multi-million selling Back To Black, for the past three years.

The singer was born Amy Jade Winehouse on 14th September 1983 in Southgate, London.

Winehouse has had a troubled life which has included various stints in rehab for drug and alcohol addiction.

The singer is thought to have been to rehab four times.

In an interview in 2008, her mother Janis said she would be unsurprised if her daughter died before her time.

She said: ‘I’ve known for a long time that my daughter has problems.

‘But seeing it on screen rammed it home. I realise my daughter could be dead within the year. We’re watching her kill herself, slowly.

‘I’ve already come to terms with her dead. I’ve steeled myself to ask her what ground she wants to be buried in, which cemetery.

‘Because the drugs will get her if she stays on this road.

‘I look at Heath Ledger and Britney. She’s on their path. It’s like watching a car crash – this person throwing all these gifts away.’

In addition, there was a website set up called When Will Amy Winehouse Die?, with visitors asked to guess the date of death with the chance of winning an iPod Touch.

In an interview last October with Harper’s Bazaar magazine, Amy was asked if she was happy.

She replied: ‘I don’t know what you mean. I’ve got a very nice boyfriend. He’s very good to me.’

And, asked if she had any unfulfilled ambitions, Amy replied: ‘Nope! If I died tomorrow, I would be a happy girl.’

As well her battles with drugs and alcohol, Winehouse also had a troubled marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil, who she divorced in summer 2009.

Fielder-Civil and Winehouse married in 2007 in Miami.

The pair’s relationship – heavily documented by the media – saw them appearing in public bloodied and bruised after fights.

It is also alleged former music video producer Fielder-Civil was the one who introduced the Back to Black star to heroin and crack cocaine.

Amy’s father Mitch previously spoke out about how his daughter stayed away from drugs prior to meeting her ex-husband.

In a previous interview last year he said: ‘He’s not entirely responsible, she’s got to take a portion of the responsibility, but it’s clear, it really kicked off when they got together.’

Most recently, Winehouse was romantically linked to film director Reg Traviss, who she dated for a few months last year.

And Mitch also gave the new man his seal of approval.

In an interview with STV’s The Hour programme, he said: ‘I’m happy she’s got a new boyfriend. I’m happy that she’s moving on with her life.’

He said Traviss was a ‘very nice, normal bloke’. The pair split in January this year but quickly rekindled their relationship.

In March, Traviss said: ‘We’ve been together nearly a year now and we’re very happy. Amy’s doing well, she’s fine. She’s healthy and happy.’

Winehouse has also caused controversy with her weight over the past few years. After hitting the music industry as a curvy role model, Winehouse then shed an astonishing amount of weight, leading to her looking gaunt in 2008.

Amy had a hugely successful musical career with the release of her debut album Frank in 2003, and the record considered her breakthrough album – Back To Black in 2006.

The singer featured on the Sunday Times Rich List earlier this year with an estimated net worth of around £6million.

During her career, Winehouse won awards including five Grammy Awards, a Q Music Award for Best Album for Back To Black and a World Music Award in 2008 for World’s Best Selling Pop/Rock Female Artist.

The tragic loss of Amy Winehouse has robbed us of a young, if fatally troubled, life cut down in its prime. It has also cheated British music of a talent, at 27, whose best years surely still lay ahead.

As a homegrown singer, she was with without question the outstanding vocalist of her generation. Without Amy, there would have been no Adele, no Duffy and no Lady Gaga. She may have been an alumni of the Brit School, but Winehouse was also a British great.

In an era of manufactured stars and precision-tooled pop puppets, she was the real deal. For all her demons – and, sadly, sometimes because of them – she cut through pop’s hyperbole. Her rawness and emotional honesty harked back to an era when the best singers were more believable. For a white girl raised in the North London suburbs, she had the sweet, sure touch of an Aretha Franklin or Etta James.

Her talent was obvious from the off. The first time I saw her live was at the V Festival eight years ago. Tucked away at the bottom of the bill in one of the small tents, well away from the crowds gathering for headliners the Red Hot Chili Peppers, she oozed class. Dressed in a Fifties-style frock, playing a white Fender guitar, she showed nervous glimpses of a talent that would later wow the world.

I was lucky enough to interview her twice. The first time came shortly before the release of debut album Frank in 2003. Having met her in a photographic studio in Soho around lunchtime, we relocated, at Amy’s insistence, to her favourite local Italian cafe, where we enjoyed a lengthy chat over a large, non alcoholic lunch. She struck me then as a witty, intelligent young girl on the cusp of womanhood.

She was full of the joys of life and understandably excited about her future.

Confident in her own abilities, she was gleefully irreverent. Whereas other singers, media-trained to within an inch of their lives, were masters in the art of diplomacy, she happily sounded off with little regard of the consequences.

Unconcerned about how her words might look in print, she dismissed her peers.

Dido and Norah Jones, huge at the time, were among her targets. They were ridiculed for being bland. She was savage, too, in her criticisms of Madonna.

She was naive, yes, but immensely likeable. A glowing review ensued.

Later, shortly before the release of second album Back To Black, I came face to face with a different Amy. Noticeably more slight than when we’d met three years previously, she turned up late in a coffee bar close to her North London home, but still turned heads with her long, raven black hair and striking eye-liner.

But, while some of that earlier youthful, sparkle had gone, she still struck me as a woman who knew exactly what she wanted. Perhaps more aware of her own flaws, she even retracted what she had said three years earlier about her fellow female stars. ‘When I was promoting my first album I was very defensive, so I lashed out a lot,’ she said. ‘But I won’t be saying anything negative about other singers now. They’ve got their job to do. I’m just happy to be doing my own thing.’ More mature in many ways, she was ready to let her music do the talking.

And Back To Black did just that. Rooted in emotional turmoil, it will go down as one of the classic British albums. Even now, in an era where female pop rules the charts in the shape of Adele, Beyoncé, Katy Perry and Gaga, nothing has come close to packing the sheer emotional punch of Back To Black. A departure from her jazzy debut, it was stark, simple and stunningly direct.

Musically, it was influenced heavily by Sixties girl groups such as The Shangri-Las and The Supremes. Lyrically, most notably on signature tune Rehab, it was clearly affected by the demons that were now troubling the singer. A far more commercial prospect than her eclectic debut, it went on to sell millions.

It won Grammys and Brits and established Amy as the pre-eminent soul girl of her age.

Despite her problems, the Amy I glimpsed during our brief encounters was different from her public persona. Nobody makes records as good and enduring as Frank and Back To Black without an intimate knowledge of the essential ingredients of great pop music. And Amy certainly had that in abundance.

For me, the most recent example of the way in which her talent truly touched people from all walks of life came in a conversation a few weeks ago with the great Tony Bennett, who sung with Amy on a track, Body And Soul, from his forthcoming duets album. As a singer who has worked with the best, from Frank Sinatra to Ella Fitzgerald, he had no doubt as to where Amy stood – she was one of the best. Remember her this way.


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