Fans mourn Amy Winehouse as police probe diva's death

24th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Fans and fellow stars mourned Amy Winehouse Sunday after the troubled British singer, who immortalised her struggles with addiction in the hit "Rehab", was found dead at her London home aged 27.

Reports said the Grammy award-winning soul diva, with her trademark beehive hairstyle, had overdosed on drugs but police refused to speculate on the cause of her death on Saturday, saying it remained unexplained.

"A date and time for the post-mortem will not be scheduled before Monday morning," London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement on Sunday. It said enquiries were still continuing and no arrests had been made.

Fans gathered and laid flowers and candles at the police cordon outside her house in Camden, north London, soon after her death was announced, while friends and fellow stars voiced their shock and sadness.

Her death makes her the latest tragic member of a club of rock stars who have died at the age of 27, including Rolling Stone Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Doors singer Jim Morrison and Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.

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."

With her distinctive hairdo, lashings of eye make-up and garish tattoos, Winehouse rocketed to fame with her 2003 debut album "Frank". It went triple platinum in Britain.

The 2006 follow-up, "Back to Black", was a worldwide smash hit, reaching number one in Britain and number two in the US charts and winning five Grammy awards.

But her battle with drink and drugs increasingly overshadowed her talent.

The album also spawned the hit "Rehab", which contains the lines: "They tried to make me go to rehab, I said no, no, no.... Just try and make me go to rehab, I won't go, go go."

In the end she did go several times -- most recently this year, just weeks before she embarked on what was meant to be a 12-date European comeback tour.

But she pulled out following a disastrous opening performance in Serbia on June 18 when she was booed on stage, apparently too drunk to sing. She stumbled her way through the 90-minute gig, mumbling and failing to follow her band.

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.

On Saturday police 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.

"I am aware of reports suggesting this death is the result of a suspected drugs overdose," police Superintendent Raj Kohli told reporters at the cordon outside her house late Saturday.

"But I would like to re-emphasise that no post-mortem examination has yet taken place and it would be inappropriate to speculate on the cause of death."

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

Outside her flat in Camden Square fans left flowers, notes, guitars, teddy bears and photographs, as well as cigarettes and alcoholic drinks. "Amy, we will miss your great talent. RIP," read one note left in a bunch of flowers.

Shamini, a 25-year-old accountant and a Winehouse fan, told AFP: "It's such a young age, and, it's unbelievable, it's unbelievable. It's almost like when Michael Jackson died."

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.

Her father, a London taxi driver and jazz aficionado, flew back from New York after his death. Britain's Sunday Mirror tabloid quoted him as saying: "This isn't real. I'm completely devastated."

Winehouse married Blake Fielder-Civil in Miami in May 2007 but they had a tempestuous relationship. He spent part of their marriage behind bars for an attack on a pub landlord and they divorced in July 2009.

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."

US singer Carole King said she hoped Winehouse had "found peace now wherever she is."

Pop star Rihanna wrote on Twitter: "Dear God have mercy!!! I am SICK about this right now!"

© 2011 AFP

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