February 7, 2008 / 12:40 AM / 10 years ago

Police question Winehouse as Grammys in doubt

LONDON (Reuters) - Soul singer Amy Winehouse has been questioned by British police over an allegation of drug possession, further raising doubts about her planned appearance at the U.S. Grammy Awards, where she is among the most nominated artists.

Amy Winehouse performs during the MTV Europe Awards ceremony in Munich November 1, 2007. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

A police source said on Wednesday that the 24-year-old performer, who entered a clinic last month for treatment of her highly publicized drug addiction, was interviewed but not arrested.

British media reports said the allegation stems from video stills published in a newspaper last month that appeared to show her smoking crack cocaine.

One report in the Sun newspaper said officers questioned Winehouse for two hours at a north London clinic after seizing the footage. It said the video was shot hours before Winehouse went to a court hearing to support her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, who is fighting charges related to a pub brawl.

The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: “Police inquiries into the matter are continuing.”

Winehouse is one of Britain’s top-selling singers, winning critical and commercial success with her album “Back to Black.” She is nominated for six Grammys, the U.S. record industry’s top awards, including Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist.

The album’s hit single “Rehab,” with the line, “They tried to make me go to rehab. I said ‘no, no, no,”‘ has been called the anthem of celebrity trash culture.

The 2006 album has sold nearly 5 million copies worldwide, including 1.3 million in the United States.

The Grammys take place on Sunday in Los Angeles, but Winehouse’s involvement has been in doubt because of her October 2007 arrest for possession of marijuana in Norway. Suspicion of further drug use might dampen prospects for her putting in a Grammy appearance.

She visited the U.S. Embassy in London this week to discuss obtaining a visa so she could travel to the United States.

Earlier this week, a spokeswoman for the Recording Academy, which sponsors the Grammys, said it was unclear whether she would make it. Winehouse’s record label, Universal Music, has declined to comment.

One person close to the artist said the label was hoping she would attend and perform.

“It’s a moving target, but a decision will be made before Friday,” the source said, noting that in addition to obtaining the proper travel authorization, the performer would also have to get a doctor’s blessing.

The source said label executives planned to speak with Winehouse on Thursday morning and hoped to hear back from the U.S. Embassy in London.


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