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After the initial shock of Amy Winehouse’s death subsided, speculation turned would whether fans would ever get to hear her long-delayed third album.
The five-time Grammy winner was originally supposed to release the disc months ago. She had reportedly been working on the album off and on for the past two years.
Various reasons abound as to the reason for the delay: The U.K.’s Mirror claims she was “unwilling to produce a less-than-perfect record,” while music news site KOvideo reports that she clashed with producer Mark Ronson, with whom she worked on her double-platinum album Back to Black.
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Meanwhile, the Mirror reports there are three albums’ worth of material already recorded and ready to be released, while the U.K.’s Telegraph claims that the songs are still at the demo stage but there is “a lot of material” from which to choose.
In April, singer Dionne Bromfield, who is Winehouse’s goddaughter, told DigitalSpy.com that she had heard the record, calling it “very good.”
But will fans ever get to hear it? That’s apparently up to her parents, Mitch and Janis, who are said to have the final say on its release.
And it’s not likely they will make a decision anytime soon. On Sunday, they issued a statement to reporters pleading for privacy.
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“Our family has been left bereft by the loss of Amy, a wonderful daughter, sister, niece,” the statement said. “She leaves a gaping hole in our lives. We are coming together to remember her and we would appreciate some privacy and space at this terrible time.”
Some experts are saying that, should they choose to release their daughter’s album, it could outsell Back to Black, which sold 5 million copies worldwide.
Phil Alexander, editor-in-chief of Mojo magazine, told the Telegraph that he believes the family will ultimately decide to release the disc.
“It is inevitable that her death will elevate her reputation and that there will be a third record released,” he said. “It’s difficult to place her in the pantheon of greats now because the truth is that her career was still in its early days. That’s the tragedy of the situation. She was a wonderful writer. The thing that’s very sad about this is that there was so much more to come.”
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Meanwhile, Adam Liversage of the British Phonographic Industry added that anticipation for the album was already high before her death, which now only fuels fan interest in hearing more from the singer.
“You might argue that Amy Winehouse was already in the pantheon of greats,” he said. “Her songs have become standards. Already there has been a lot of anticipation for a new album and if it was released posthumously that will only increase the interest in her.”
Back to Black was released in the U.S. in early 2007; it shot the singer to international fame after the release of its single “Rehab,” and it earned Winehouse five Grammys at the 2008 ceremony.
Since news of her death broke early Saturday, sales of her records have skyrocketed. Back to Black re-entered the charts for the first time since its 2006 release in the U.K., hitting No. 59 in the few hours between reports of her death and the sales being tallied, the U.K.’s Press Association reported.
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In addition, two singles from the disc — “Back to Black” and “Rehab” — also re-entered the singles chart, coming in at Nos. 81 and 181 on Saturday, respectively.
The Official Charts Co. said that overall, sales of Winehouse’s albums — which also include her 2003 debut, Frank — increased 37 times between Friday and Saturday, while track sales were up by 23 times.
Back to Black also jumped to the top of iTunes album chart on Saturday afternoon in the U.S., while her video for “Rehab” also entered the top 10. The album also shot to the top of the iTunes U.K. chart.
Winehouse, 27, was found dead in her north London home Saturday after a long and widely reported battle with alcohol and drugs.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman told the BBC that the cause of death was as yet unexplained.
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