Amy Winehouse family pleads for "privacy and space"

Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:14pm EDT
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By Tim Castle

LONDON (Reuters) - The family of Amy Winehouse sought "privacy" from the public eye on Sunday, one day after the young, beehive-haired soul singer's untimely death, which sent fans rushing to download her songs in remembrance.

The "Rehab" singer was found dead at her London home on Saturday, becoming the latest in a grim tally of music superstars who died at the seemingly cursed age of 27.

"Our family has been left bereft by the loss of Amy, a wonderful daughter, sister, niece. She leaves a gaping hole in our lives," her family said in a statement. "We are coming together to remember her, and we would appreciate some privacy and space at this terrible time."

Police say it is too early to speculate on how Winehouse died and a post mortem will not be conducted before Monday morning, but Winehouse's struggle with alcohol and drug addiction were well documented.

Her best known song, the booming "Rehab," from 2006 album "Back to Black," bore witness to her doomed struggle to get clean. Other members of what has been dubbed the "Forever 27" club include Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain, who died at that age in different circumstances after chaotic lifestyles associated with rock'n'roll careers.

"The thing that links them together is the fact that all of them have been pop cultural shifters, all of them have helped push the sound of modern music to new levels, and some of them have pushed it on a very large scale, be it Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones," said Eric Segalstad, author of "The 27s: The Greatest Myth of Rock & Roll".

In many cases the musicians' posthumous fame has surpassed the success they enjoyed in their career, with their recordings still selling and enjoyed by a new audience.

That may be the case for Winehouse, considered by some as among the most talented singers of her generation, who leaves only a slim set of recordings showcasing her talent.   Continued...