Police: Singer Amy Winehouse Dies

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.

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 shot to fame 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 hairdo and old-fashioned sailor tattoos, one of music’s most recognizable stars.

“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.

Released in Britain in the fall of 2006, “Back to Black” brought Winehouse global fame. Working with producers Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi and soul-funk group the Dap-Kings, Winehouse fused soul, jazz, doo-wop and, above all, a love of the girl-groups of the early 1960s with lyrical tales of romantic obsession and emotional excess.
“Back to Black” was released in the United States in March 2007 and went on to win five Grammy awards, including song and record of the year for “Rehab.”

The songs on “Black to Black” detailed breakups and breakdowns with a similar frankness. Lyrically, as in life, Winehouse wore her heart on her sleeve.

Even then, Winehouse’s performances were sometimes shambolic, and she admitted she is “a terrible drunk.” Increasingly, her personal life began to overshadow her career.

She acknowledged struggling with eating disorders and told a newspaper that she had been diagnosed as manic depressive but refused to take medication. Soon accounts of her erratic behavior, canceled concerts and drink- and drug-fueled nights began to multiply.

Photographs caught her unsteady on her feet or vacant-eyed, and she appeared unhealthily thin, with scabs on her face and marks on her arms.

Though she was often reported to be working on new material, fans got tired of waiting for the much-promised followup to “Back to Black.”
Occasional bits of recording saw the light of day. Her rendition of The Zutons’ “Valerie” was a highlight of producer Mark Ronson’s 2007 album “Version,” and she recorded the pop classic “It’s My Party” for the 2010 Quincy Jones album “Q: Soul Bossa Nostra.”

She also had run-ins with the law. In April 2008, Winehouse was cautioned by police for assault after she slapped a man during a raucous night out.

The same year she was investigated by police, although not charged, after a tabloid newspaper published a video that appeared to show her smoking crack cocaine.

In 2010, Winehouse pleaded guilty to assaulting a theater manager who asked her to leave a family Christmas show because she’d had too much to drink. She was given a fine and a warning to stay out of trouble by a judge who praised her for trying to clean up her act.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


One Comment

  1. Harry Potter says:

    Was it a magic trick or shall we say her last act, a disappearing act?
    Maybe she found out her cell phone was hacked by the British tabloids
    and had a major break down leading up to this.

  2. Christina Johnson says:

    Lady Gaga will be next

  3. Debbie says:

    I’m far from being a fan. My 15yr old son came to me yesterday and said..”Mom, Amy Winehouse died” I was shocked..why ? Because her song..Re-Hab was a catchy hit and I’m sure she was singing from her heart and experience.
    She was a baby..too young to not only die but be strung out on hard drugs and alcohol. I guess it’s fair to say that the Hollywood fame and fortune has a tendency to overwhelm people, it has been the cause of many young and old people dying. What a shame..my thoughts and prayers are with her family and may she Rest in Peace.

  4. JustSaying says:

    This has been a long-running train wreck. The outcome seemed inevitable, which in the end it was. Now, shift all eyes to Lohan.

  5. ? says:


  6. Back to Black...self fulfilling prophecy says:

    This is your Brain on…..never mind. RIP, Amy. The memories we have of you will be seared in our hearts forever. At least we can look back in time to a better time.

  7. PIKE BISHOP JR. says:

    amy was like the united snakes of amerika..a runaway train wreck…still feel sorrow?

    1. Tears may never dry says:

      I blame the paparazzi, and all of the riff raff that would cling to her for the money and the fame she imparted. The drug dealers and “friends” who knowingly misled her and contributed to her downfall. She was never away from the vultures who fed on her persona, who made her life a living hell. She is at peace now, and all we have are the memories of her. We took her for granted when she was alive, now our tears may never dry on their own.

  8. TomNJ says:

    Nature does have a way of weeding out the week and useless. We all have choices and get what we deserve. She had everything she could want, more than I will ever have, and she chose to kill herself with drink/drugs. Oh well, next….

    1. Laughed at by the gods says:

      The gods are not laughing now, they will be forever silenced by your haunting memories. Amy, you were a shining star whose light went out way too soon. Thank you for giving us the priceless gift of having you in our lifetimes. You will be terribly missed.

    2. lairdkeir says:

      My thoughts exactly. I have a few candidates and, coincidentally enough, they all hung out with her.

  9. lairdkeir says:

    Most comments suggest that Winehouse was a pathetic, particularly vulnerable little girl who was unable to make choices in her life but instead was manipulated. If she were black she would hardly have found her end in a high-end flat in Camden. Across the pond at the Guardian comments for the first time are moderated before appearing and are refused unless they praise her (or the way she was manufactured and presented) and ignore how she actually lived- that of a junkie, consorting with criminals, attacking people, treating fans with contempt after deciding to appear on stage wasted, etc). Norway is a tragedy but personalities run the news. To me, this is one less self-absorbed, self-indulgent, self-pitying person who was given everything and still chose to stick two fingers up to society.

  10. j says:

    No one ever grows up to be a substance abuser. All anyone has to do is be at the wrong place at the wrong time, with the wrong person!

    1. He takes the day says:

      Is anyone checking in on her ex-husband? I hope he is surrounded by supportive and caring people at this time of mourning. Anyone know what’s up with him?

  11. M.A.D says:


  12. j.j. says:

    “WHAT A SUPRISE!!”…….Ralph Kramden

  13. Jx says:

    She was the Iranian scientist.

  14. jh says:

    hey mj learn how to spell…

  15. MJ says:

    well now amy is part of the 27 CLUB … morrison, joplin, hendrix, kurt cobain,brian jones and pig pen from the dead

  16. Thirthton Thithertinton says:

    Amazing voice, degenerate drug addict..no sympathy here. she had every opportunity to get help.. .. it is a shame though….technically, she deserves it.

    1. mj says:

      ah….. nothing like compasion

  17. MSavage says:


    The list keeps growing. Even the all the fame and fortune, these people still need to resort to narcotics.

Comments are closed.

More From CBS New York

Get Our Morning Briefs

Watch & Listen LIVE