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RIP Amy Winehouse


Amy Winehouse, who described herself as bisexual, has been found dead in her London home, police said today. The singer, who had recently recorded a duet with Tony Bennett, scheduled for released in September, had a long history of addiction that was relentlessly covered by the tabloid press. Her extraordinary 2006Back to Black album (including the prescient single "Rehab," which remained in the British charts for 57 weeks), was a global success, garnering five grammies and heralding a string of female singer-songwriters in a similar vein, including Duffy and Adele. But of them all, Winehouse had the most distinctive voice and style (not least, her towering beehive), and there was considerable anticipation that she would deliver a new album this year. She had described her new work, which she began working on in 2009, as "very much the same as my second album." Fans and supporters were dismayed earlier this year after Winehouse was booed during a performance in Serbia which clearly demonstrated that she had yet to conquer her drug addictions, fuelling fresh fears for her health. Winehouse was a singular talent, but claimed that she never courted fame or celebrity, once telling The Washington Post, "If I had my choice, I'd be a roller-skating waitress in the middle of nowhere, singing songs to my husband while I'm cooking grits somewhere. What I'm doing I'm so grateful to be doing -- it's so exciting, so fun. But I've never been the kind of girl who knocks on someone's door and says, 'Make me famous.'" Update: Tony Bennett, who has recently recorded a duet with Winehouse, paid tribute to the singer on Saturday. She was, he said, "an extraordinary musician with a rare intuition as a vocalist and I am truly devastated that her exceptional talent has come to an early end."

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