Singer Amy Winehouse Found dead in London
LONDON (AP) – Amy Winehouse, the beehived soul-jazz diva whose self-destructive habits overshadowed a distinctive musical talent, was found dead Saturday in her London home, police said. She was 27.
Winehouse shot to fame in 2006 with the album “Back to Black,” whose blend of jazz, soul, rock and classic pop was a global hit. It won five Grammys and made Winehouse – with her black beehive hairdoand old-fashioned sailor tattoos – one of music’s most recognizable stars. But her personal life, with its drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders and destructive relationships, soon took over her career.
Police confirmed that a 27-year-old female was pronounced dead at the home in Camden Square northern London; the cause of death was not immediately known. London Ambulance Services said Winehouse had died before the two ambulance crews it sent arrived at the scene.
Winehouse was last publicly seen on at a London concert on Wednesday when she joined hergoddaughter Dionne Bromfield on stage. In that impromptu appearance, Winehouse danced with Bromfield and encouraged the audience to buy her album, before leaving the stage.
“I didn’t go out looking to be famous,” Winehouse told the Associated Press when “Back to Black” was released. “I’m just a musician.”
But in the end, the music was overshadowed by fame, and by Winehouse’s demons. Tabloids lapped up the erratic stage appearances, drunken fights, stints in hospital and rehab clinics. Performances became shambling, stumbling train wrecks, watched around the world on the Internet.
Born in 1983 to Mitch Winehouse, taxi driver, and his pharmacist wife Janis, Winehouse grew up in the north London suburbs, and was set on a showbiz career from an early age. When she was 10, she and a friend formed a rap group, Sweet ‘n’ Sour – Winehouse was Sour – that she later described as “the little white Jewish Salt ‘n’ Pepa.”
Her father said she had developed the lung disease emphysema from smoking cigarettes and crack, although her spokeswoman later said Winehouse only had “early signs of what could lead to emphysema.”
She left the hospital to perform at Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday concert in Hyde Park in June 2008, and at the Glastonbury festival the next day, where she received a rousing reception but scuffled with a member of the crowd. Then it was back to a London clinic for treatment, continuing the cycle of music, excess and recuperation that marked her career.
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