Singer Amy Winehouse found dead aged 27
British singer Amy Winehouse, whose drink and drug addictions overshadowed her sultry musical talents, was found dead at her London flat on Saturday. She was 27.
The Grammy award-winning soul singer, with her trademark beehive hairstyle, battled with her demons as documented in her biggest hit single "Rehab". Her death is being treated as unexplained, police said.
Friends and fellow stars voiced their shock and sadness at her death, while fans began to gather and lay flowers candles and teddy bears at the police cordon outside her home in Camden, north London.
A London Ambulance Service (LAS) spokeswoman told AFP they were called to her home at 3:54 pm (1454 GMT) and sent two ambulance crews which arrived within five minutes, plus a cycle responder and a duty manager.
"Sadly the patient had died," the spokeswoman said.
The road outside her house has been cordoned off and forensic officers were seen going in and out of the building.
A black private ambulance pulled up outside at around 8:45 pm (1945 GMT). Officials bearing a red body bag emerged from the building minutes later.
The police said the LAS called them at around 4:05 pm (1505 GMT) 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," Scotland Yard said in a statement.
"Enquiries continue into the circumstances of the death. At this early stage it is being treated as unexplained."
One neighbour reported hearing screaming coming from the house in the early hours of Saturday.
The singer had a European comeback tour schedule 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.
Some 20,000 people gathered for the highly-promoted concert, but many soon left.
During the 90-minute gig, Winehouse could only mumble some of the lyrics, failing to follow her band.
She left the stage twice, with many fans showing their displeasure despite her band's attempts to calm the crowd.
"Amy Winehouse is withdrawing from all scheduled performances," a statement from 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 had also been scheduled to perform in Istanbul, Athens, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Poland.
She made her final public appearance at The Roundhouse venue in Camden on Wednesday, joining her goddaughter Dionne Bromfield on stage.
She danced with Bromfield and ecouraged the audience to buy the 15-year-old's album before leaving.
Bromfield performed at a festival in Wales shortly after news broke of Winehouse's death. She left straight afterwards.
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 voice and beehive hairstyle, 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.
© 2011 AFP