Troubled singer Amy Winehouse’s death was simply a matter of time, her heartbroken mother said Saturday.
The soulful British singer-songwriter, who won five Grammys in 2008 at the age of 24, lived life on the edge of a cliff downing alcohol like water and taking destructive drugs like heroin, cocaine, and ecstasy.
Her mother, Janis Winehouse, told the U.K.’s Sunday Mirror that her 27-year-old daughter’s death had been “only a matter of time.” Winehouse was found dead in her apartment on Saturday by her bodyguard and was pronounced dead when the ambulance crew and police arrived.
“She seemed out of it. But her passing so suddenly still hasn’t hit me,” said the elder Winehouse, who was with her late daughter the day before she died.
Amy Winehouse had reportedly told her mother the day before she died, “I love you mum.”
“They are the words I will always treasure,” said Winehouse. “I’m glad I saw her when I did.”
Although Winehouse has a long history of alcohol and drug abuse, she was beloved by fellow musicians and fans for her enormous talent. Winehouse is considered one of the most important musicians on the pop scene this millennium, introducing a jazzy retro-soul sound to the genre.
Her game-changing album, Back to Black, in 2006 included the award-winning single “Rehab” that was named by Time magazine as the Best Song of 2007 and by Rolling Stone as the eighth-best song of the 2000s.
Notably, the lyrics to her song “Rehab,” which nabbed her three of her five Grammys, are sadly similar to her own life’s story. The lyrics include the lines:
“They tried to make me go to rehab but I said ‘no, no, no’/Yes I’ve been black but when I come back you’ll know, know, know/I ain’t got the time and if my daddy thinks I’m fine/ He’s tried to make me go to rehab but I won’t go, go, go”
Winehouse had unsuccessfully tried to kick her alcohol and drug addictions by going to treatment facilities several time, with the latest being in May when she entered The Priory clinic in southwest London.
The official cause of Winehouse’s death is still unknown, but friends say that she had been binge drinking and taking ecstasy pills in the days prior to her sudden death.
Condolences from celebrity friends and admirers of the talented but troubled singer have poured in.
Lady Gaga posted on Twitter: “RIP to the amazing #amywinehouse. Such a talented singer.”
Usher tweeted: “I’m so sad to hear the horrible news of Amy Winehouse’s death. I’m so happy I knew you Amy… Rest Well. Gone Too Soon … we’ll miss you!!”
And American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson said, “I’m incredibly sad. I didn’t know her but I met her a few times and got to hear her sing before she blew up. She was a beautiful and talented girl. I’m angry. What a waste of a gifted person.”
Country star LeAnn Rimes wrote, “Sometimes people’s demons are too hard to fight. I can only imagine her pain. What I imagine that torture is like makes me hurt.”
Fellow British stars Sir Elton John said, “She was one of the most seminal artists this country has ever produced,” while supermodel Kate Moss tweeted, “RIP Amy Winehouse, So upset, my heart goes out to her, sad to see such talent vanish from the world.”
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.”
While British comedian and actor Russell Brand, who is also a former drug addict, posted a tribute to Winehouse on www.russellbrand.tv : “Entering the space I saw Amy on stage with Weller and his band; and then the awe. The awe that envelops when witnessing a genius. From her oddly dainty presence that voice, a voice that seemed not to come from her but from somewhere beyond even Billie and Ella, from the font of all greatness. A voice that was filled with such power and pain that it was at once entirely human yet laced with the divine. My ears, my mouth, my heart and mind all instantly opened”
And legendary crooner Tony Bennett paid a touching tribute to Winehouse, who he recorded the song “Body and Soul” with.
“She was an extraordinary musician with a rare intuition as a vocalist and I am truly devastated that her exceptional talent has come to such an early end,” said Bennett to US Weekly.
“When we recorded together, she gave a soulful and extraordinary performance,” he said. “I was honored to have the opportunity to sing with her.”
“It had been my sincere hope that she would be able to overcome the issues she was battling and I send my deepest sympathy to her father Mitchell, her entire family and all of those who loved her,” Bennett said.
Even the wife of former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown mourned Winehouse’s death. Sarah Brown tweeted, “Sad, sad news on Amy Winehouse – great talent, extraordinary voice, and tragic death, condolences to her family.”
Many have noted that Winehouse is now part of the “27 Club,” made up of undeniably talented musicians whose drug and alcohol addictions led to their untimely death at age 27. “27 Club” members include Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, The Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones, The Doors’ Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin.
Dozens of flower bouquets have been left outside Winehouse’s home in Camden, England, according to the BBC.