A press release from the Metropolitan Police, which doesn’t specifically name Winehouse, says:
“Police were called by London Ambulance Service to an address in Camden Square NW1 shortly before 16.05hrs today, Saturday 23 July, following reports of a woman found deceased.
On arrival officers found the body of a 27-year-old female who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Enquiries continue into the circumstances of the death. At this early stage it is being treated as unexplained.”
Winehouse famously battled addiction to drugs and alcohol and was in and out of rehab several times throughout the years.
Last month, Winehouse canceled her European tour after a performance in Serbia where she seemed completely out of it.
Amy Jade Winehouse (14 September 1983 – 23 July 2011 was an English singer-songwriter, known for her powerful contralto vocals and her eclectic mix of various musical genres including R&B, soul, and jazz. She received extensive publicity over her substance abuse and mental health issues. Winehouse died on 23 July 2011 in, as yet, unexplained circumstances.\
After toying with her brother’s guitar, Winehouse received her first guitar when she was 13, and began writing music a year later. She began working soon after, including as a showbiz journalist for the World Entertainment News Network, in addition to singing with a jazz band. Her sometimes boyfriend at the time, soul singer Tyler James, sent her demo tape to an A&R person. Winehouse signed to Simon Fuller’s Management in 2002. While being developed by the management company, the artist was kept an industry secret. Her future A&R representative at Island/Universal, Darcus Beese, heard her by accident when the manager of The Lewinson Brothers showed him some productions of his clients on which Winehouse featured as vocalist. When he asked who the singer was the manager told him he was not allowed to say. Having decided that he wanted to sign her it took several months of asking around for Beese to eventually discover who the singer was. By this time Winehouse had already recorded a number of songs and signed a publishing deal with EMI. Through the publishers she formed a working relationship with the producer Salaam Remi.
Beese introduced Winehouse to his boss, Nick Gatfield, and the Island head shared his enthusiasm in signing the young artist. Winehouse was signed to Island/Universal as rival interest in Winehouse had started to build, with representatives at EMI and Virgin also starting to make moves. Beese told HitQuarters that he felt the reason behind the excitement over an artist who was an atypical pop star for the time was due to a backlash against reality TV music shows with audiences becoming starved for genuine young talent.
Major label success
Winehouse’s debut album, Frank, was released on 20 October 2003. Produced mainly by Salaam Remi, many songs were influenced by jazz and, apart from two covers, every song was co-written by Winehouse. The album received positive reviews with compliments over the “cool, critical gaze” in its lyrics and brought comparisons of her voice to Sarah Vaughan, Macy Gray and others.
The album entered the upper levels of the UK album chart in 2004 when it was nominated for BRIT Awards in the categories of “British Female Solo Artist” and “British Urban Act”. It went on to achieve platinum sales. Later in 2004, she won the Ivor Novello songwriting Award for Best Contemporary Song, alongside Salaam Remi, with her contribution to the first single, “Stronger Than Me”. The album also made the short list for the 2004 Mercury Music Prize. In the same year, she performed at the Glastonbury festival, on the Jazzworld stage, and at the V Festival. After the release of the album, Winehouse commented that she was “only 80 percent behind [the] album” because of the inclusion by her record label of certain songs and mixes she disliked.
In contrast to her jazz-influenced former album, Winehouse’s focus shifted to the girl groups of the 1950s and 1960s. Winehouse hired New York singer Sharon Jones’s longtime band, the Dap-Kings to back her up in the studio and on tour. In May 2006, Winehouse’s demonstration tracks such as “You Know I’m No Good” and “Rehab” appeared on Mark Ronson’s New York radio show on East Village Radio. These were some of the first new songs played on the radio after the release of “Pumps” and both were slated to appear on her second album. The 11-track album was produced entirely by Salaam Remi and Ronson, with the production credits being split between them. Ronson said in a 2010 interview that he liked working with Winehouse because she was blunt when she did not like his work. Promotion of Back to Black soon began, and in early October 2006, Winehouse’s official website was re-launched with a new layout and clips of previously unreleased songs. Back to Black was released in the UK on 30 October 2006. It went to number one on the UK Albums Chart numerous times, and entered at number seven on the Billboard 200 in the United States. It was the best-selling album in the UK in 2007, selling 1.85 million copies over the year.