Amy Winehouse, who once said she feared joining the “27 Club” of dead rock stars, like Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison, was found lifeless this morning in her London home. Eerily, she was 27.
“We are deeply saddened at the sudden loss of such a gifted musician, artist and performer.
“Our prayers go out to Amy’s family, friends and fans at this difficult time,” said her record label, Universal Republic, in a statement confirming her death.
Last month, Winehouse canceled a European comeback tour after a disastrous performance in Belgrade in which she appeared too intoxicated to perform.
Disappointed fans booed her from the stage.
Winehouse shot to fame on an R&B revival in Great Britain that spread around the world. She had a smooth, smoky voice and a unique throwback style to ’60s era soul singers, symbolized by a her mile-high bee-hive hair do.
But her skyrocketing career ran aground after she descended into a world of drugs and alcohol that involved intoxicated public displays and multiple trips to rehab.
She had taken time off from to get clean, and had recently relaunched her career. The cause of death was not immediately known, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.
London police said they are investigating the cause of the death, but have characterized it at the moment as “unexplained.”
Eerily, she is the same age as Kurt Cobain and Janis Joplin when they died, as well as Hendrix, and Morrison, who fronted for the iconic ’60s group The Doors.
She would have been 28 in September.
Winehouse rose to international acclaim in 2007, and was part of a new wave of British singers included Josh Stone, Duffy and Adele, all of whom were retro soul. Winehouse was the rebel of the group and it was reflected in her music.
Her hit songs included “You Know I’m No Good,” and “Rehab,” with the controversial lyrics, “They tried to make me go to rehab, I said, ‘No, no, no.’ ”
Her first big international hit was her second album Back in Black, released in the United States in 2007 a year after it debuted to critical acclaim in Great Britain.
But as soon as her career hit a high point, an increasing number of drunken or drug-induced episodes began making tabloid headlines.
She was often spotted in clubs snorting lines of cocaine, or engaged in drunken fights with her then husband Blake Fielder-Civil.
She ended up in the hospital after several monumental drug binges. In December 2009, Winehouse was charged with common assault after being ejected form a theater for disruptive behavior and appearing drunk.
The singer spent much of 2010 in and out of hospital in London in an effort to beat alcohol problems. She spent eight weeks in the Caribbean last year to get healthy and avoid London bar scene; sadly to no avail.