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Amy Winehouse found dead

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Singer Amy Winehouse has been found dead at her flat in north London.

Emergency services confirmed that they attended the 27-year-old's flat at just before 4pm on Saturday 23 July but were unable to save her life.

"On arrival, officers found the body of a 27-year-old female who was pronounced dead at the scene," a police statement said.

Her death is being treated as unexplained. According to sources quoted by Sky News, it was caused by a suspected drug overdose.

Amy is survived by her parents and her brother Alex. Speaking for the first time on Sunday, they said they had 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," a statement said.

The songwriter won critical acclaim with her debut album Frank in 2003, at the age of 20. She went onto garner worldwide fame with Back to Black in 2006, with the album winning five Grammy awards and named as Time magazine's album of the year. The release transformed her from jazz performer to a global star.

She was widely acknowledged as one of the best singers and songwriters of her generation but her career was blighted by drink and drug problems and she pulled out of a comeback tour only last month. Her final official show was in Belgrade in June, where she was jeered by fans during a shambolic performance. A statement on her website at the time said, "Amy Winehouse is withdrawing from all scheduled performances. 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."

Amy was last seen in public last week when she made a surprise appearance at an event in Camden to support her goddaughter Dionne Bromfield. She danced on-stage with Dionne and encouraged the audience to buy her album.

As news of her death spreads, tributes have been flooding in from fans and those who knew her well. Singer Lily Allen said: "It's just beyond sad, there's nothing else to say. She was such a lost soul, may she rest in peace." Kelly Osbourne tweeted "i cant even breath right now im crying so hard i just lost 1 of my best friends. i love you forever Amy & will never forget the real you!"

CNN host and former tabloid editor Piers Morgan tweeted: "Such desperately sad news re Amy Winehouse. Supreme natural talent, terrible self-destructive addictive personality. #RIP." Former prime minister's wife Sarah Brown said, "Sad sad news of Amy Winehouse - great talent, extraordinary voice, and tragic death, condolences to her family." Radio 1 DJ Fearne Cotton wrote: "Can not believe the news. Amy was a special girl. The saddest news."

Former News of the World showbiz journalist Dan Wootton, who interviewed the Back To Black singer on many occasions, told Sky News: "I'm absolutely devastated. I'm still shaking to be honest." Mirror journalist Danielle Lawler said: "When she performed, she was mind-blowing, she was absolutely mesmorising and her voice were incredible. She was one of the best performers of her time and tragically her career has been cut short."

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