Amy Winehouse autopsy inconclusive; music rises to top of charts
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An autopsy on the late Amy Winehouse on Monday yielded no immediate answer as to how the singer died, according to police officials in London who said the results of toxicology tests are due in two to four weeks.
Police determined that foul play was not involved in the death of the 27-year-old British soul singer at her London home Saturday. Winehouse’s body was released to her family, which is planning a private funeral that could take place as early as Tuesday or Wednesday, as it is customary for Jewish memorials to be held as quickly as possible.
Numerous news reports have stated that Winehouse might have been dead for up to six hours before being discovered by security guard Andrew Morris that afternoon -- she last spoke to members of her team at 10 a.m. Saturday, and was found at 4 p.m.
‘She was in her bedroom after saying she wanted to sleep and when [Morris] went to wake her he found she wasn’t breathing,’ Chris Goodman, her United Kingdom representative, told the Sun. ‘He called the emergency services straightaway. He was very shocked. At this stage no one knows how she died. She died alone in bed.’
Police sources reported no sign of drugs at the house, and Winehouse had reportedly passed a physical on Friday. Reports that she had purchased cocaine, ketamine and Ecstasy hours before she died were blasted as ‘nonsense’ by her parents.
Emotional tributes continued to pour in from Winehouse’s friends. Actor Russell Brand, who has publicly battled his own addictions and was friends with the singer, wrote a lengthy column that he posted on his website. Britain’s Guardiannewspaper.
“Whether this tragedy was preventable or not is now irrelevant. It is not preventable today. We have lost a beautiful and talented woman to this disease. Not all addicts have Amy’s incredible talent. Or Kurt’s or Jimi’s or Janis’s. Some people just get the affliction,” he wrote. “All we can do is adapt the way we view this condition, not as a crime or a romantic affectation but as a disease that will kill.... We need to review the way society treats addicts, not as criminals but as sick people in need of care.” Her biggest collaborators used the social network site to express their grief.
‘She was my musical soulmate and like a sister to me,’ ‘Back to Black’ producer Mark Ronson wrote. ‘This is one of the saddest days of my life.’
Producer Salaam Remi, who worked on both of her albums, tweeted: ‘I didn’t hear a gunshot.... I don’t see any blood, but I feel a deep pain in my heart. A part of me died today. RIP.’
Lady Gaga tweeted that ‘Amy changed pop music forever’ while Adele praised the singer with a statement on her website and credited the singer who “paved the way for artists like me and made people excited about British music again.” She also wrote, “i don’t think she ever realised just how brilliant she was and how important she is, but that just makes her even more charming.”
Of course, Winehouse’s untimely death sparked a huge surge in sales of her short catalog. Both her debut album, “Frank,” and its critically heralded follow-up, ‘Back to Black,’ are among the top sales entries on Amazon.com, including special deluxe editions of the discs and vinyl copies.
“Back to Black” is in the top spot on the iTunes charts in nearly 20 countries including the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, Ireland, Denmark, Portugal and Luxembourg.
The disc, which garnered Grammy gold for the singer, is projected to re-enter the top 20 on the Billboard 200 chart and a number of her singles, including her biggest hit, “Rehab”; “You Know I’m No Good”; “Valerie”; and “Back to Black” are expected to return to the Digital Songs chart this week as the singer logged an estimated 100,000 downloads of her singles over the weekend, a 1,800% gain in sales from the week before, according to SoundScan.
-- Gerrick D. Kennedy