Video: Family left 'bereft by sad loss of our Amy'
Published 25/07/2011 | 05:00
The family of singer Amy Winehouse said they have been left "bereft" by her death at the age of 27.
Celebrities and fans have lined up to pay tribute to the singer after she was found dead at her home in Camden, north London, on Saturday.
The family's statement said: "Our family has been left bereft by the loss of Amy, a wonderful daughter, sister, niece. 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."
Winehouse battled drink and drug problems throughout her career and news of her death was quickly followed by suggestions that it could be related to one or the other.
Police warned last night that it was "inappropriate" to speculate at this stage on the cause of death, which is being treated as "unexplained".
Scotland Yard said a post-mortem examination would not be scheduled before today.
The singer's grief-stricken mother Janis said she had seen her daughter the day before she was found dead.
"She seemed out of it. But her passing so suddenly still hasn't hit me," she said.
The performer had said "I love you" at the end of a day out together, and her mother said she would always treasure those words.
Her father Mitch, who flew back from New York when he heard the news, said: "This isn't real. I'm completely devastated."
Celebrities including former drug addict Russell Brand, Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood and producer Mark Ronson have all paid tribute to the multi-award winning performer.
Brand called her "a genius" and said addiction should be treated like a potentially fatal illness. Wood performed with The Faces last night and dedicated 'I would rather go blind' to her. He said: "Such a beautiful singer, such a waste."
An increasing number of tributes were left yesterday near the singer's north London home, including alcoholic drinks and cigarettes, alongside soft toys, flowers and candles.
Pieces of artwork had also been laid down, including a striking photo of Winehouse posing in a bar.
Many notes were also left, one reading, "too fragile, too beautiful, too big a talent for this world", and another which said, "to an exquisite singer with a beautiful voice".
Metropolis Music, Winehouse's management company, released a statement saying: "We are trying to come to terms with the death of a dear friend and colleague, the most amazing artist and talent.
"We will always remember Amy as a vibrant, funny, caring young woman who made everyone around her feel welcome. We have lost a very special person, part of our family."
The troubled 'Back to Black' artist had cancelled all tour dates and engagements last month after a series of erratic public appearances. She was booed at a shambolic performance in Serbia. Ronson said in his statement: "She was my musical soulmate and like a sister to me. This is one of the saddest days of my life."
Sylvia Young, of Sylvia Young Theatre School, where a young Winehouse was given a half-scholarship, described the singer as "a wild spirit" who was also "extremely bright".