Amy Winehouse passes at the age of 27

On Saturday, July 23, 27-year-old British superstar Amy Winehouse was found deceased in bed by her bodyguard at her flat in Camden, London where she may have been dead for up to six hours. Though the cause of death is still uncertain, her friends report that the singer had been taking ecstasy tablets and binge drinking prior to her untimely death, and her past struggles with alcohol, heroin, cocaine, and ecstasy have caused many to speculate that her death was drug-related.

Despite these suspicions, London Police Superintendent Raj Kohli encourages the pubilc not to jump to conclusions, in particular in regard to recent reports that no drugs were found in her home. Said Kohli, “I am aware of reports suggesting this death is a result of a suspected drug overdose, but I would like to re-emphasize that  no post-mortem examination has yet taken place and it would be inappropriate to speculate on the cause of death.” Winehouse’s autopsy, preformed on July 25, was inconclusive. Metropolitan Police claim that within two to four weeks toxicology and histology tests will reveal more specific findings.

A self-proclaimed “terrible drunk” known for her erratic behaviour at performances, Winehouse admitted to struggling with eating disorders and manic depression, for which she refused medication. Though she cancelled her Europe tour last month after a show in Serbia where she showed up an hour late, forgot the lyrics, and was booed off the stage, representatives reported that she was taking time off to focus on recovery. The artist was spotted recently looking much healthier than her infamously gaunt appearance that the tabloids have consistently smashed. She made attempts to overcome her addictions several times by checking into rehabilitation facilities, most recently in May 2011 at The Priority Clinic in London. Her father, Mitch Winehouse, additionally reported that his daughter was suffering from lung disease emphysema from smoking cigarettes and crack.

The singer famously had a number of run-ins with the law. In 2007, she was arrested for possession of marijuana in Norway, and again in 2008 for assault. Later that year, she was investigated after a video surfaced of her appearing to be smoking crack cocaine. Winehouse’s most recent run-in occurred in 2010, where she received a warning from the police after assualting a movie theatre worker who asked her to leave the building for showing up heavily drunk to a family Christmas movie.

She divorced husband Blake Fielder-Civil in 2009, suspected to be the person who initially introduced her to many of the hardcore drugs that led to her physical and social decline.

Winehouse’s troubled drug and alcohol habits unfortunately overshadowed her innumerable talents that caused many to hail her as one of the most iconic jazz and soul artists of her time. Her album “Back to Black”, released in 2006, became the year’s best-selling album in the United Kingdom and included the track “Rehab”, which was named by Time Magazine as the Best Song of 2007 and Rolling Stone as the eighth-best song of the decade. Her jazzy retro-soul style made her one of most innovative artists in her genre, proven in 2008 when she received five Grammys at the age of 24. At the time of her death, the singer was working on a new album to follow up “Back to Black”. The album was due to be released in January.

The singer’s last public appearance was on July 20 in London at the iTunes Festival, where she surprised the audience by joining goddaughter Dionne Bromfield shortly onstage where she danced and encouraged the crowd to purchase the 15-year-old’s album before leaving.

Amy Winehouse is now a member of the “27 Club”, a group of reowned and talented musicians whose drug and alcohol use in some way related to their sudden deaths. Members include Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin, and the Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones.

In the wake of the superstar’s death, artist M.I.A. has released a tribute track for the fallen star, which can be heard HERE.

A private family service for Winehouse could be held as early as Tuesday in accordance with Jewish customs. The case regarding her death will be adjourned until October 26.

Kaylee McNeil-Bristol Studios

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~ by bristolstudios on July 25, 2011.

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