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Amy Winehouse found dead, aged 27
Singer Amy Winehouse, 27, has been found dead at her north London home.
Video above added by SFA Web Admin
A Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed that a 27-year-old woman had died in Camden and that the cause of death was as yet unexplained.
The Brit and Grammy award-winner had struggled with drink and drug addiction and had recently spent time in rehab.
Her record label Universal called her "a gifted musician, artist and performer", adding: "Our prayers go out to Amy's family, friends and fans."
She pulled out of a comeback tour last month after a disastrous appearance at her first gig.
Jeered at gig
Winehouse cancelled the European tour after being jeered at the show in Serbia, when she appeared too drunk to perform.
For 90 minutes, she mumbled through parts of songs and at times left the stage - leaving her band to fill in.
She had recently finished a course of alcohol rehabilitation in London and at the time was under strict instructions not to drink.
A section of the road where the singer lived was cordoned off on Saturday evening, as journalists, local residents and fans gathered at the police tapes.
Forensic officers were seen going in and out of the building.
Winehouse had won widespread acclaim with her 2003 debut album, Frank.
But it was 2006's Back to Black which brought her worldwide stardom, winning five Grammy Awards.
The record's producer Mark Ronson said in a statement: "She was my musical soulmate and like a sister to me.
"This is one of the saddest days of my life."
Hip-hop producer Salaam Remi, who also worked on Winehouse's albums Frank and Back To Black, paid tribute to her on Twitter saying: "Very Very Sad Day. Just lost a Great Friend and a Sister."
He added: "RIP my baby SiS Cherry Winehouse. Love ya always."
News of her death has also prompted other tributes from other celebrity friends.
TV presenter Kelly Osbourne tweeted: "i cant even breath right now im crying so hard i just lost 1 of my best friends. i love you forever Amy & will never forget the real you!"
Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood announced he is to dedicate his Saturday night show on Absolute Radio to Winehouse. He said: "It's a very sad loss of a very good friend I spent many great times with".
Crowds gathered near Amy Winehouse's home in north London
He added a reunion performance by his former group The Faces in Hurtwood, Surrey, would also be dedicated to the singer.
BBC Radio 1 DJ Fearne Cotton wrote: "Can not believe the news. Amy was a special girl. The saddest news."
Daily Telegraph rock critic Neil McCormick said he was "utterly shocked" at her death.
He said she had appeared focused when giving an "incredible performance" for a recent studio recording of a duet with Tony Bennett.
"It's deeply sad. It's the most completely tragic waste of talent that I can remember," he added.
Doug Charles-Ridler, co-owner of Winehouse's favourite Camden pub The Hawley Arms, called her "a special person with a good soul," adding, "this should not have happened".
Winehouse made her last public appearance on Wednesday night when she joined her goddaughter Dionne Bromfield on stage at The Roundhouse in Camden.
The singer danced with Bromfield and encouraged the audience to buy her album in the impromptu appearance before leaving the stage.
At the time she pulled out of the tour, her spokesman had said everyone wanted to do everything to "help her return to her best".
Excerpted From: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14262237
Note from SFA Web Admin:
Amy is my favorite singer, next to Avril. I always thought that most of
her drug and alcohol issues were media overkill....R.I.P. Amy...I love you.
Whenever I hear her sing "Valerie" a tear comes to my eyes....
it is such an emotional song. Click on the link below to hear it:
Here are some more NEWS Videos about Amy's passing today.
HER Last SHOW
Click HERE for an in-depth photographic essay
on the Death of Amy Winehouse from www.dailymail.co.uk
Amy Winehouse and Hank Williams
July 25, 2011
The much-loved entertainer, Amy Winehouse, passed away yesterday.
Hank came into my mind right away.
Here is another case, of an entertainer, who will be worth more money,
dead than alive.
When 'unstable' superstars, like Amy & Hank, leave this world, the record
companies, and other interested parties; are able to promote the artist,
without any fear of future 'screw ups', due to bad publicity.
I humbly predict that we will see Amy Winehouse albums being released, for
the next fifty years. Obscure tracks will surface, from time to time, to
add spice to the mix.
We are sitting on the threshold of a new era: "The Amy Winehouse Era"
The world needs a new tragic blues singer, like Billie Holiday.
Amy Winehouse is the new sensation. People will explore her work, and
realize that she possessed a divine gift, for composition and performance
of exquisite jazzy-bluesy numbers.
I love Amy Winehouse.
Some favorite Amy Winehouse performances:
Little Rich Girl - Live in London
Monkey Man - Live in London
Valerie - Brit Awards - 2008
Every time I watch this video, a tear (or two) comes
to my eyes...it is emotional.
Clcik HERE to enjoy this acoustic version of "Valerie"
Winehouse's back catalogue takes over the top 40
By Richard Hall
Saturday, 30 July 2011
Amy Winehouse's surge in sales mirrors that of Michael Jackson and Johnny Cash
Amy Winehouse looks set to join the ranks of the musical greats who have achieved posthumous chart success as fans rushed to buy her music following her death last weekend.
The demand for her back catalogue echoes the spike in sales seen after the deaths of Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and John Lennon.
The singer, who passed away aged 27 last Saturday, could have as many as seven singles in the top 40 this weekend, and her Grammy Award-winning 2006 album Back to Black is currently behind only Adele's best-selling 21 in the album chart.
A spokesperson for the Official Charts Company said yesterday that the battle for this week's number one spot was "close".
Back to Black has sold 37,000 copies in the United States in the past week and will re-enter the Billboard album chart in the top 10.
Figures released by the Official Charts Company show her song "Back to Black" is at number 5, with "Rehab", "Tears Dry On Their Own" and "Love Is A Losing Game" at 22, 24 and 26, respectively.
Two other songs, "You Know I'm No Good" and "Valerie", are at numbers 33 and 35, while a second version of "Valerie" recorded with Mark Ronson is set to chart at number 39.
Gennaro Castaldo, at the high street music retailer HMV, said: "We saw such a surge in demand for Amy's albums at the weekend that we pretty much sold out and had to reorder more copies, which have now just come in."
He said: "It repeats a pattern seen when other artists have died. Time and again, when someone passes away, you see a huge surge of interest in their current album, and also in other items in their catalogue."
Royalties from the surge in sales will be distributed among Winehouse's immediate family: her mother Janis, father Mitch and brother Alex, who were named as beneficiaries in the singer's will.
At the funeral for the 27-year-old, who battled with drink and drugs throughout her career, Mitch Winehouse announced plans to set up a foundation in her name to help people struggling with addiction.
"If you cannot afford a private rehabilitation clinic, there is a two-year waiting list for help," he said.
It is not yet clear whether money raised from record sales will go towards the foundation, but the proposal has already won the support of Keith Vaz MP, who has offered to help the foundation.
In his eulogy at Edgwarebury Cemetery in north London, Mr Winehouse said his daughter had "just completed three weeks of abstinence", adding that she told him: "Dad, I've had enough of drinking. I can't stand the look on your and the family's faces any more."
Posthumous Chart Toppers
*Michael Jackson's greatest hits album Number Ones rocketed to the top of the album charts shortly after his death in 2009. Four of his other hit albums also reappeared in the top 20, with Thriller, still the biggest-selling album of all time, racing from 179 to number 7.
*Elvis Presley still holds the record for having the most simultaneous top 40 albums, following a surge in sales after his sudden death. In a week in September 1977 Elvis had 12 albums in the Top 40.
*American singer Janis Joplin's album Pearl was released just months after her death, reaching number one in the US charts and becoming her most successful album. Like Amy Winehouse, Joplin was 27 when she died.
*John Lennon did not achieve any solo number one singles during his lifetime, but after his death in 1980 there was a frenzy of buying his singles, leading to a quick succession of chart-toppers, including '(Just Like) Starting Over' and 'Imagine'.
*After dying from asphyxiation in 1970, Jimi Hendrix scored his only chart-topping single with 'Voodoo Chile' two months later.
Coroner: Amy Winehouse Died From Too Much Alcohol
Amy Winehouse drank herself to death. That was the ruling of a coroner's inquest into the death of the Grammy-winning soul singer, who died with empty vodka bottles in her room and lethal amounts of alcohol in her blood — more than five times the British drunk driving limit.
Coroner Suzanne Greenaway gave a verdict of "death by misadventure," saying Wednesday the singer suffered accidental alcohol poisoning when she resumed drinking after weeks of abstinence.
"The unintended consequence of such potentially fatal levels (of alcohol) was her sudden and unexpected death," Greenaway said.
The 27-year-old Winehouse had fought a very public battle with drug and alcohol abuse for years, and there had been much speculation that she died from a drug overdose. But a pathologist said the small amount of a drug prescribed to help her cope with the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal had nothing to do with her death.
Instead, a resumption of heavy drinking killed the singer, best-known for her tall beehive hairdos and Grammy-winning album "Back to Black." A security guard found Winehouse dead in bed at her London home on July 23.
"She's made tremendous efforts over the years," said Dr. Christina Romete, who had treated Winehouse. But "she had her own way and was very determined to do everything her way."
Winehouse gave up illicit drugs in 2008, but had swerved between heavy alcohol use and abstinence for a long time, Romete said. The singer had resumed drinking in the days before her death after staying away from alcohol for most of July, she said.
Romete said she warned Winehouse of the dangers of alcoholism. "The advice I had given to Amy over a long period of time was verbal and in written form about all the effects alcohol can have on the system, including respiratory depression and death, heart problems, fertility problems and liver problems," she said.
Winehouse joins a long list of celebrities who died after fighting alcohol problems, including jazz great Billie Holiday, AC/DC lead singer Bon Scott, film legend Richard Burton, writers Dylan Thomas and Jack Kerouac, and country music pioneer Hank Williams.
Witnesses testifying Wednesday said the singer showed no signs she wanted to kill herself and had spoken of her weekend plans as well as her upcoming birthday just hours before she was found dead.
"She was looking forward to the future," Romete said, describing Winehouse as "tipsy" but calm when they met the night before her death. That night, her live-in security guard said he heard her laughing, watching television and listening to music at home.
The guard, Andrew Morris, said he knew she had resumed drinking, but did not notice anything unusual until he found that she had stopped breathing in bed the next afternoon.
Police Detective Inspector Les Newman said three empty vodka bottles — two large and one small — were found in her bedroom.
Pathologist Suhail Baithun said blood and urine samples indicated Winehouse had consumed a "very large quantity of alcohol" prior to her death. The level of alcohol in her blood was 416 milligrams per 100 milliliters, he said — a blood alcohol level of 0.4 percent. The British and U.S. legal drunk-driving limit is 0.08 percent.
The singer's parents attended the hearing, but did not speak to reporters. In a statement, Winehouse family spokesman Chris Goodman said it was a relief to the family "to finally find out what happened to Amy."
"The court heard that Amy was battling hard to conquer her problems with alcohol and it is a source of great pain to us that she could not win in time," he said.
Doctors say acute alcohol poisoning is usually the result of binge drinking — the human body can only process about one unit of alcohol, or about half a glass of wine, an hour. Having too much alcohol in the body can cause severe dehydration, hypothermia, seizures, breathing problems and a heart attack, among other difficulties.
There is no minimum dose for acute alcohol poisoning and the condition varies depending on a person's age, sex, weight, how fast the alcohol is drunk and other factors such as drug use.
In recent years, the 5-foot-3-inch Winehouse had appeared extremely thin and fragile.
Dr. Joseph Feldman, chief of emergency services at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey said Winehouse likely developed a tolerance for large quantities of alcohol after drinking heavily for years. He also said the sedative Winehouse was on, Librium, wouldn't have stopped someone from having seizures if they were in alcohol withdrawal.
Continued From Above:
"It's easier to withdraw from heroin than it is from alcohol ... Withdrawal (from alcohol) can cause anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, the sensation of things crawling all over you," he said.
He said those symptoms sometimes push people back to alcohol.
"It's possible she could have been saved if she had been found (or treated) earlier," he said. "A lot of treatment is supportive care, like IV fluids and making sure they don't inhale their own vomit."
Winehouse's breakthrough "Back to Black" album, released in 2006, was recently certified as the best-selling disc in Britain so far during the 21st century. The updated take on old-time soul also earned five Grammy Awards.
Although the singer was adored by fans worldwide for her unique voice and style, praise for her singing was often eclipsed by lurid headlines about her destructive relationships and erratic behavior. Winehouse herself turned to her tumultuous life and personal demons for music material, resulting in such songs as "Rehab."
In June, Winehouse abruptly canceled her European comeback tour after she swayed and slurred her way through barely recognizable songs in her first show in the Serbian capital, Belgrade. She was booed and jeered off stage and had to return to Britain to recover.
Her last public appearance came three days before her death, when she briefly joined her goddaughter, singer Dionne Bromfield, on stage at The Roundhouse in Camden, near her home.
Associated Press Medical Writer Maria Cheng contributed to this report.
Amy Winehouse's Lioness: Hidden Treasures - when pop chimes from beyond the grave
By Neil McCormick
Image added by Web Admin
“Like smoke, I hang around,” sings Amy Winehouse. The voice rises up from beyond the grave, curling magically in the air, incorporeal but very much alive and resonant, full of breathy emotion. Shiny slivers of sixties guitar *****, hip hop drums push and snap, plush strings and 50s doo *** harmonies fill up the spectrum while the recently deceased singer drifts across the melody with a fluid, free-form “Woah-oh-oh-oh.”
Listening to some of her last recorded vocals in a basement studio in Soho, Winehouse is so vigorously present in the music it is hard to believe she is no longer around. “Lots of people are going to remember other aspects of her life,” says soft-spoken, sad-eyed American producer Salaam Remi. “People have no idea what her actual capacity was. She was so creative, she could flip a song five times, do jazz versions, doo wop, hip hop, trying to find the right arrangement. Musically she was the tops, not just a great singer, she was a great musician, a great writer, and a great producer as well.”
A new album of Winehouse material is set to be released next month. Lioness: Hidden Treasures has been principally assembled by Remi, the producer who worked most closely with her since she was signed by Island Records in 2002 until her death from alcohol poisoning on July 23rd, aged 27. The 12 tracks are drawn from across her career, comprising unreleased originals, cover versions, alternative versions of familiar tracks, and two demos of new songs intended for what would have been her third album. “It’s not the album she would have made,” admits Remi. “But these are things I would like people to know that she did. It makes no sense them sitting on my hard drive wilting away.”
The dead, it appears, are always with us, certainly in the realm of pop stardom. The posthumous album has become such a fixture of the music business that some of our most revered stars have released more music since they died than they did whilst alive, including Elvis Presley, Kurt Cobain and Tupac Shakur. American publishers Forbes annual list of highest earning dead celebrities is dominated by musicians, who have an easily repackaged product that often gains value after their demise. Michael Jackson, on the verge of bankruptcy when he died in 2009, has topped the Forbes list for two years running, with earnings estimated at $345 million. Some artists are literally worth more dead than alive.
But can a posthumous album, created or at least completed without the involvement of the artist themselves, ever be considered part of their canon? It is an emotive and potentially divisive issue for fans. The fine line between commemoration and exploitation can, at times, feel like a kind of desecration. Last year, a new Michael Jackson album was heavily criticised by some former collaborators (including producer Will.i.am) who insisted Jackson was too much of a perfectionist ever to release unfinished material.
It is the curse of our age: music deemed not good enough for release at the time of recording is hauled up from the vaults, dusted down, remixed, remastered and repackaged to satisfy a demand the artist is unable to fulfil. Old pop stars never die, they are condemned to a career of ever diminishing quality control, a limbo of demo tapes, out-takes and rehearsal room jams.
There have been posthumous classics entirely completed before the premature death of the artist, whose release effectively burnished the myth, notably Closer by Joy Division (two months after the suicide of singer Ian Curtis in 1980) and the presciently titled Life After Death by rapper Notorious B.I.G (just two weeks after his murder in 1997). But inevitably, most such releases are effectively compilations, the quality of which is dependent on the approach of the artist to stockpiling material.
Continued from above:
Driven geniuses such as Hank Williams, Buddy Holly, Otis Redding and Jimi Hendrix would go into a studio at every opportunity, and some of their posthumous output equals their best, filled with hints of potential future musical directions that would remain tragically unexplored. But, for the vast majority, it is merely what has been left behind, and cannot genuinely claim to bear the artist’s imprimatur. Reliant upon the musical instincts of former collaborators and the impulses of bereaved family members and rights holders, there is a risk of lowering standards and potentially tarnishing an artist’s reputation.
When I watched Winehouse recording in Abbey Road with Tony Bennett in March this year, she ascribed her nervousness to the fact that it was her first time in a studio for two years. Beset by drug and alcohol problems, hounded by paparazzi, Winehouse was not the most prodigious of recording artists. As a result, Lioness is not even close to what her third album would have been, exhibiting little of the drive and vision of Frank or Back To Black, simply because, as her manager Raye Cosbett admits, there was not enough new material to draw on. Only the jukebox energy and doo *** backing vocals of Like Smoke and Between The Cheats (a rocking, piano driven blast) give a flavour of where she was headed.
Instead, this is a pick and mix of the best of the leftovers, including Remi’s first ever session with the then 18 year old singer, a playful, jazzy, hip hop inflected version of Girl From Ipanema, with the young Winehouse scatting with bravado. Winehouse arrived in his Miami studio carrying an acoustic guitar and played the song for him effectively as an audition. “Her voice just lit up the room. I thought 'wow!’” Remi claims to have spent only two weeks polishing tracks, adding strings and backing vocals, “just what you’d do with any recording.” The biggest job was reworking an acoustic demo of Song For You, the Leon Russell classic made famous by Donny Hathaway.
Remi recalled Winehouse spontaneously recording herself learning the song, reading lyrics and guitar tabs off a computer screen, until the ballad of a famous singer mourning lost love overwhelmed her. “She was singing barefoot and weeping. It was an emotional moment.” The song ends with Winehouse talking about Hathaway’s soulful gifts, in comments that could apply to herself: “It was like he couldn’t contain himself, he had something in him, you know.” A gentle character, Remi is convincing when he asserts his motives in putting this album together are honourable. “Her passing hit me pretty hard. I had to get it off my chest, not come back in a year and rehash all the pain I’m feeling now.” He says his reward had come the previous week, playing the album to her father Mitch and other family members. “It put a smile back on his face. He kept saying, 'that’s my daughter.’”
Amy Winehouse: Lioness: Hidden Treasures will be released by Island on December 5th. A donation of £1 from the sale of each album in the UK will be donated to the Amy Winehouse Foundation.
Mitch Winehouse: ‘It sunk home: She’s gone’
Mitch Winehouse’s heart doesn’t stop when he hears the song Rehab wafting without warning from a shop or club or car window. He doesn’t mind hearing his late daughter Amy sing about how her daddy thinks she’s fine. “That’s one of the few songs of hers I can listen to,” the London-based Winehouse said by phone last week from New York, where he was promoting his new memoir, Amy, My Daughter. “I look back at that time not exactly with fondness, because it was a difficult period. But at that time I didn’t think rehab was the right option for her. I actually smile when I listen to it.”
Worse periods would follow, of course. Two years before she wrote 2006’s Rehab, Amy was drinking too much, but she hadn’t yet discovered heroin and crack, to which she would become addicted. She hadn’t yet dropped to near-skeletal weight, or stumbled through disastrous live performances, or become such a fixture in the tabloids that her dad would note in his diary the rare days she didn’t make headlines. Eventually, after yo-yoing in and out of rehab, she’d kick what the Brits call Class A drugs, but it would be too late – heavy drinking and a weak heart would take her life last year, at 27.
The good and bad news about Winehouse’s book is that he takes the reader along for nearly every day of this ride, detailing the incessant ups and downs that come with loving an addict. One day Amy vows to quit. The next she’s using again. A few days later she promises to quit, but she really means it this time. She goes into treatment. She walks out on treatment. Or she uses in treatment. Or she stays in treatment, gets better, and then uses as soon as she gets out. Chapter after chapter unfolds like this, year after year, pulled directly from Winehouse’s diary.
Reading the book, one is at first frustrated – couldn’t he have summed this up in a paragraph? But gradually the affectless, Warhol-like documenting of it starts to work on you. “I understand exactly when you say you didn’t ‘enjoy’ reading the book,” Winehouse says. “The book is hard going. Because that’s what it’s like having a drug addict or alcoholic within your family – hard going. It’s boring. It’s repetitive. Yet you can’t take your eyes off it for a second because you have to make sure nothing terrible happens to your child. I really wanted to get that message across. Because unless you’re struggling with addiction within your family, you have no idea.”
In the book, quotes from Amy are rendered in her Camden Town accent, with its dropped g’s and “innits,” but her dad’s voice is smoothed out in proper book fashion. Though this is understandable, it’s a shame, because the live Mitch Winehouse vernacular – his London cabbie/jazz musician cadence, his torqued vowels – is much more human and immediate. For example, when I express amazement that in his late 50s, Winehouse would physically fight the drug dealers he’d find in Amy’s house, he replies, “When you go ‘round your daughter’s house and there’s drug dealers sittin’ in there, what you supposed to do? Make ‘em a cuppa tea?
“Everyone’s got an opinion of what they would do if it happened to them,” he continues. “They’d lock up their child and give them food three times a day or whatever, that’s how they would deal with it. When the reality is, when it hits you, you don’t know what to do.”
Winehouse tried everything, from airing his frustrations in the British press (“which didn’t make Amy happy,” he says) to faking heart attacks to jolt her into quitting. Because of her fame, he was able to consult “the 20 finest clinical psychologists in Britain.” He got 20 different opinions. The best advice, and the most comfort, came from family therapy groups, ordinary people sharing their stories.
“Amy would say to me that she didn’t like the look on her mum’s face, didn’t like seeing me in these compromising situations, fighting people,” Winehouse says. “But not until she decided to give up drugs, for her reasons, did she give ‘em up, in Dec. 2008. And that was the end of it.”
Continued From Above:
Winehouse had his reasons, three of them, for writing the book: to help ease his sorrow; to clear up misconceptions about Amy’s death; and to donate any proceeds to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which he, along with Amy’s younger brother Alex, helps run. Its activities so far include funding the construction of an eight-bed children’s hospice in North London, where Amy grew up, and creating a music education program for disadvantaged youths in New Orleans. Writing the book was cathartic, he says, but proofing it was agony: “To read it in print was totally unbearable. I was just crying all the time. It sunk home: She’s gone.”
Lately, however, Winehouse has “gone beyond thinking of Amy in bad situations. I think about her laughing. We laughed a lot, even during the dark times. We laughed so much that I actually got a hernia from laughing. It’s true, I’ve got to get it fixed in a couple months’ time.” In his frequent gigs as a jazz musician – he heads up ensembles in the U.K., Germany, and the U.S. – he often does a song for Amy. “I don’t want to get upset here, but Autumn Leaves was my mum’s favorite song, and Amy used to get me to sing that to her,” he says. “Some people ask, ‘How can you sing, you lost your daughter?’ They’re idiots, because singing is the best therapy you can ever have. It makes me feel a whole lot better.”
His favorite memory of Amy is this: One afternoon about six months after her monster-hit record Back to Black came out, when she was at the peak of her fame, she invited her dad for a walk. She was using drugs then, but it was one of her good days. They started at the top of a Soho street, and for four hours, Amy went into every shop, greeted everyone by name.
“She knew everything about everybody,” Winehouse says. “‘Hello, Susan, how’s your mum?’ Funnily enough, my mum was exactly the same, she also had that incredible gift of immediacy. I’m looking at this kid, who looked fabulous, and people were comin’ up to her, and they were kissin’ and cuddlin’, takin’ photographs. And I’m thinking to myself, ‘You are a great kid. You don’t have to be like this.’ Well, she did, because she was my family, we made sure she didn’t get big-headed. But there’s plenty ‘a stars who don’t do that kind of stuff. I was so proud.”
He pauses, then utters a sentence that could make anyone’s heart stop. “However bad it [Amy’s lowest period] was – and it was terrible – I’d take it back in a second right now.” Because she would still be here to say no, no, no.