Tributes to Amy Winehouse, dead at just 27
'We have lost 20 years of good records' says Gambaccini after young singer's suspected overdose
The death of Amy Winehouse, at 27 after a suspected drugs overdose, has robbed the public of "20 years of good records", one critic says, as tributes to the troubled star pour in.
Winehouse's death was confirmed by the Met police shortly after 3.54pm yesterday when ambulances were called to her Camden home. A post-mortem is being carried out today, but a drug overdose is the suspected cause of death.
"This is a tragedy for young people who take drugs. This is a tragedy for the music business. This was a talented woman," Paul Gambaccini told the BBC.
He added: "Someone who is not of control of themselves who has ups and downs… you cross your fingers that one of the downs is not too low.
"With Amy Winehouse, she had a down that was too low. And we have lost 20 years of good records. And Mitch Winehouse has lost a daughter."
Producer and musician Mark Ronson was quick to pay tribute, saying: "[Amy Winehouse] was my musical soulmate and like a sister to me. This is one of the saddest days of my life."
Writing in the Guardian, Caroline Sullivan said Winehouse was "one of the outstanding singers of her generation" and added that few artists who have died so young could be considered "as much of a loss to music as Amy Winehouse".
A personal note was added by Winehouse's father, Mitch, a former taxi driver now making a living as a jazz singer on the back of his daughter's success. He told the Sunday Mirror: "I'm devastated, it's such a shock."
Currently performing in New York, Mitch said: "I'm getting the next plane back. I'm coming home. I have to be with Amy."
Kelly Osbourne, daughter of Ozzy Osbourne, said Winehouse was one of her "best friends" and added that she was "crying so hard" about her death.
Winehouse's last recording was a duet with veteran crooner Tony Bennett, to be released on his Duets II album in September. Speaking before her death, Bennett paid the ultimate tribute to her doomed talent:
"Every artist I ever met — Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne, Duke Ellington — always had the butterflies before they hit the stage.
"They were wondering if everything would work. They had that nervousness.
"And Amy Winehouse was like that." ·