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Amy Winehouse, the British singer-songwriter with the vintage sound and very modern tabloid image, has been found dead at her north London home. She was 27.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman told the BBC that a 27-year-old woman had died in Camden and that the cause of death was as yet unexplained.
London Ambulance Service said it had been called to the flat at 1554 BST and sent two vehicles but the woman died.
The troubled singer had a long battle with drink and drugs which grabbed as many headlines as her recent musical career.
Winehouse secured widespread acclaim, at age 20, with her 2003 debut album, Frank. Then in 2006 her album Back to Black saw her shore up worldwide fame, winning five Grammy Awards.
The songstress pulled out of a comeback tour last month.Her most recent performances had been marred by allegations of drunkeness and at a gig in Serbia she was the subject of catcalls from the audience after appearing too drunk to belt her numbers out.
Rumors of Winehouse’s death set Twitter alight on Saturday evening. Among those to comment was former prime minister’s wife Sarah Brown.
“Sad sad news of Amy Winehouse – great talent, extraordinary voice, and tragic death, condolences to her family,” she tweeted.
BBC Radio 1 DJ Fearne Cotton wrote: “Can not believe the news. Amy was a special girl. The saddest news.”
The singer, likely to have the adjective troubled used in her name from now on, made her last public appearance on Wednesday night when she joined her goddaughter Dionne Bromfield on stage at The Roundhouse in Camden. She danced with Bromfield and encouraged the audience to buy her album in the impromptu appearance before leaving the stage.
Winehouse shot to international fame with her single “Rehab,” a throwback to the American girl-group sound of the 1960s. Released in the U.S. in early 2007, months after debuting overseas, the song made the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100 and sold more than 1 millions units. It fueled double-platinum sales of her album Back to Black, which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200.
The album and single were well-received by critics, and Back to Black topped the charts in more than 15 countries, making the top 10 in a dozen others.
Winehouse’s high-water mark in the U.S. came in 2008 at the 50th anniversary Grammys in Los Angeles. Nominated for six awards, including all four major categories, she had gone-5-for-5 leading up to the coveted album of the year award, where Back to Black lost to Herbie Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters, one the biggest upsets in Grammy history.
Winehouse won best new artist; “Rehab” won song and record of the year along with best pop vocal performance; and Back to Black was named best pop vocal album.
Earlier that week, the U.S. embassy in London had denied Winehouse a visa to attend the Grammys. But after word came two days before the show that the visa had been granted, her reps said she wouldn’t be attending, citing “logistics involved and timing complications.” Instead, the show featured her two-song performance live from Riverside Studios in London — at 4 a.m. GMT.
Erik Pedersen contributed to this report.
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