Amy Winehouse has died. The 27-year-old British soul singer was reportedly found in her London apartment at 4:05 p.m. GMT. There's no word on the exact cause of death, but Winehouse had been struggling with drug addiction for many years.
Winehouse cancelled a European tour last month after a disastrous show in Serbia, during which she repeatedly forgot her words and was booed by the 20,000 fans in attendance. "Amy Winehouse is withdrawing from all scheduled performances," spokesman Chris Goodman said at the time. "Everyone involved wishes to do everything they can to help her return to her best and she will be given as long as it takes for this to happen."
Winehouse became an international superstar shortly after the release of her 2006 LP Back to Black, which was produced by Mark Ronson. It contained the hits "Rehab," "You Know I'm no Good," "Love Is a Losing Game" and "Back to Black." Her brassy voice, retro Motown sound and painfully personal lyrics made her one of the most acclaimed female singers of the past decade.
In 2008, she won Grammy awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Winehouse was unable to travel to America to accept the awards due to visa problems, and by that point her battle with drugs was already garnering as much attention as her music. Paparazzi pictures showed Winehouse to be increasingly frail and sick-looking, and numerous attempts at rehab failed to achieve any lasting results.
Rolling Stone writer Claire Hoffman visited Winehouse at her London flat in the summer of 2008. She found the singer living in disarray, with cuts and scratches up and down her arm and garbage strewn all over the house. "To be honest, my husband's away," she said. "I'm bored, I'm young. I felt like there was nothing to live for. It's just been a low ebb." She also admitted that she had started work on her next album, but progress was slow. "When the songs are done, they'll be all atmospheric and cool like that," she said. "Same stuff as my last album but with some ska."
Her last release was a cover of the Lesley Gore's 1963 classic "It's My Party," which she recorded for a Quincy Jones tribute album last year. Winehouse made her final public performance on July 20th when she joined her goddaughter, 15-year-old soul singer Dionne Bromfield, on stage for an upbeat rendition of the Shirelles hit "Mama Said."
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