That Amy Winehouse was a beloved musician was beyond doubt after her death was announced yesterday, despite her troubled personal life and addictions. Fans flocked to her house in London after the announcement, laying flowers, and paid tribute at one of past favorite pubs, the Telegraph reports. The New York Times echoed the sentiment of many in their obituary, writing that:
Ms. Winehouse was no manufactured pop commodity. She was a genuine musician, among the very small handful of British singers whose version of American soul music had a gutsiness and flair far beyond what could be studied.
Following her death, many reports have come in of the last few days of her short life. Given Winehouse's battle with substance abuse, many believe, and it was initially suggested, that an overdose caused the death of the 27-year-old musician. Winehouse had canceled a European tour following a troubled stage performance last month, where she "stumbled across the stage, slurred through her songs, and threw a shoe into the crowd." But just a few days before her death, on July 20, she gave her last public appearance at the iTunes Festival, where she appeared on stage to help promote her protégé and goddaughter Dionne Bromfield’s new album. Video of her final performance is below.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Winehouse made a surprise appearance, hugging Bromfield and then dancing along as Bromfield sang 'Mama Said.' While Winehouse did not sing, she clapped with the song and encouraged the crowd to sing along."
Details after that performance have been constructed here largely through tabloid accounts, so are by no means reliable. What has come out is that anonymous friends of Winehouse told the British tabloid The Mirror that "she had hit the self-destruct button over the last two days in wild drinking sessions around Camden, North London." Neighbors also told The Mirror that two days before her death, "they saw her arrive in a cab with Big Brother star Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace. She collapsed when she got out of the taxi and had to be carried inside."