Support grows for planned Winehouse addiction foundation

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The father of Amy Winehouse on Wednesday won support from a lawmaker for his plan to set up a foundation in the late British soul singer's name for people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.

Mitch Winehouse revealed plans to establish the foundation on Tuesday at the funeral of his 27-year-old daughter, whose hugely successful music career was often overshadowed by her fight against drink and drug problems.

The Grammy-award winning singer, who shot to stardom with her 2006 album "Back to Black", was found dead at her north London home on Saturday. A cause of death has yet to be established although it is not being viewed as suspicious.

Her family must wait two to four weeks for the results of toxicology tests.

Opposition Labour Party lawmaker Keith Vaz, who chairs a parliamentary committee that held a 2009 inquiry into drug addiction at which Mitch Winehouse testified, on Wednesday offered his support for the proposed foundation.

"Mitch Winehouse gave powerful evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee during our inquiry into drugs in 2009," said Vaz.

"Drawing on his personal experience, he highlighted the long delay in accessing treatment for those with addiction.

"Two years on we need to revisit this issue to see if anything has improved. I am very happy to help Mitch in any way I can with his important campaign to help rehabilitate those most vulnerable in our society."

Friends and family attended Winehouse's Jewish funeral at Edgwarebury Cemetery in northwest London, where her father delivered a heartbreaking eulogy which ended with the words: "Goodnight, my angel."

He told mourners that his daughter had "conquered her drug dependency".

The singer made little secret of her struggle with drugs and alcohol, famously singing about her refusal to seek treatment in her biggest-selling single "Rehab".

But the problems increasingly took over, and she had to scrap a European comeback tour after stumbling through the opening performance in Belgrade on June 18.

With her beehive hairdo and sultry vocals, Winehouse became an international star with "Back to Black", her second and last album, which won her five Grammy awards.

Former Europe minister Vaz has been in the spotlight this month, with his committee role seeing him spearhead the grilling of key figures in Britain's newspaper phone hacking inquiry.

© 2011 AFP

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