LONDON - Amy Winehouse - one of the most talented singers of her generation, whose hit song "Rehab" summed up her personal struggles with addiction - died in London yesterday at the age of 27.
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The multiple Grammy winner, famed for her black beehive hair, soulful voice and erratic behavior both on and off the stage, was found dead at her Camden home in north London.
"Inquiries continue into the circumstances of the death at this early stage," a police spokesman said. "It is being treated as unexplained."
Sky News quoted police sources as saying they suspected the death was caused by a drug overdose.
"We are deeply saddened at the sudden loss of such a gifted musician, artist and performer," her record label Universal said in a statement. "Our prayers go out to Amy's family, friends and fans at this difficult time."
Friends and family had long warned that Winehouse's lifestyle, which saw her in and out of rehab and affected her career as a live and recording artist, could be her downfall.
Winehouse's last filmed performance was last month in Serbia, where she was jeered by the crowd and struggled to perform her songs and keep her balance. For some songs, the audience did most of the singing.
The performance, which was posted on the YouTube video site, prompted her management to cancel all her scheduled performances.
For some yesterday, Winehouse's early death came sadly as no surprise.
"We have been dreading this news for some time, hoping against hope that she would turn herself around, but she showed no evidence of being able to do so," broadcaster and radio DJ Paul Gambaccini told BBC TV.
"She just could not control herself," he said. "It's tragic because both (her ) albums were superb. We have 40 years of Frank Sinatra records, it turns out we only have two Amy Winehouse records."
Winehouse was born on Sept. 14, 1983, to a Jewish family with a history of jazz musicians. She was discovered by soul singer Tyler James at the age of 16. In 2003 her debut album "Frank" was released to general acclaim.
Her second album "Back to Black" was released in 2006 and reached the No. 1 spot in Britain and earned her five Grammy awards. The album's hit single "Rehab" contained the famous line: "They tried to make me go to rehab. I said, 'No, no, no.'"