Amy Winehouse family 'bereft' at singer's death

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Media captionThe BBC looks back at the 24 hours since Amy Winehouse's death was reported

The family of singer Amy Winehouse, who has died at the age of 27, say they have been left "bereft" by their loss.

The singer, who topped the charts with her album Back To Black, was found dead by a member of her security team at her London home on Saturday.

In a statement, her family said: "She leaves a gaping hole in our lives."

A post-mortem examination is expected to be carried out next week to determine the cause of death, which police currently say is "unexplained".

The Brit and Grammy award-winner had struggled with drink and drug addiction for many years and had recently spent time in rehab.

But police have refused to say whether her death was drug-related.

Police spokesman Supt Raj Kohli said: "It would be inappropriate to speculate on the cause of death."

He added: "My sympathy extends not just to her immediate family but clearly to the thousands and millions of fans across the world."

A spokesman for the family said the funeral would be held as soon as possible, but the post-mortem examination and police investigation have made it impossible to set a date.

The full family statement said: "Our family has 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."

Winehouse's father Mitch flew back from New York where he was performing in a jazz gig.

The singer's death also prompted tributes from her celebrity friends.

Mark Ronson, who produced Back to Black, Winehouse's second album, said: "She was my musical soulmate and like a sister to me. This is one of the saddest days of my life."

Image caption Winehouse's mother supported her daughter when she performed via video link at the Grammys in 2008

Comedian and actor Russell Brand posted a statement on his website, saying: "We have lost a beautiful and talented woman."

Brand, who has also struggled with drug addiction in the past, described one of the first times he saw her perform.

"Entering the space I saw Amy on stage with [Paul] Weller and his band; and then the awe. The awe that envelops when witnessing a genius," he said.

At the time he met Winehouse, Brand had not yet completely stopped taking drugs and he said the pair of them "shared an affliction, the disease of addiction".

Hip-hop producer Salaam Remi, who worked on Winehouse's albums Frank and Back To Black, paid his tribute to her on Twitter saying: "Very Very Sad Day. Just lost a Great Friend and a Sister."

He added: "RIP my baby SiS Cherry Winehouse. Love ya always."

TV presenter 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!"

Image caption Brand and Winehouse were friends and shared the same problem of addiction

Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood dedicated his Saturday night show on Absolute Radio to Winehouse. He said: "It's a very sad loss of a very good friend I spent many great times with."

He said a reunion performance by his former group, The Faces, in Hurtwood, Surrey, would also be dedicated to the singer.

Winehouse made her last public appearance on Wednesday night when she joined her goddaughter, Dionne Bromfield, on stage at the Roundhouse in Camden.

The singer danced with Bromfield and encouraged the audience to buy her album in the impromptu appearance.

On Saturday night Bromfield took to the stage at a festival in Pontypridd in Wales, just two hours after news broke of the singer's death.

The 15-year-old did not mention Winehouse during her half-hour set.

Music promoter Orchard Entertainment said there had been "no pressure" on Bromfield to perform.

Spokesman Tim Powell said: "It was very, very professional. We would have perfectly understood if she hadn't wanted to perform but she very bravely did."

Mercury Prize

Her record label Universal called her "a gifted musician, artist and performer", adding: "Our prayers go out to Amy's family, friends and fans."

Image caption Kelly Osbourne (L) tweeted about her grief

Winehouse pulled out of a comeback tour last month after a disastrous appearance at her first gig.

She cancelled the European tour after being jeered at the show in Serbia, when she appeared too drunk to perform.

For 90 minutes, she mumbled through parts of songs and at times left the stage - leaving her band to fill in.

She had recently finished a course of alcohol rehabilitation in London and at the time was under strict instructions not to drink.

Winehouse won widespread acclaim with her 2003 debut album, Frank - which was nominated for the Mercury Prize.

But it was 2006's Back to Black which brought her worldwide stardom, winning five Grammy Awards.

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