A day after her untimely death at age 27 , [artist id="1742872"]Amy Winehouse[/artist]‘s family spoke out on the passing of the troubled jazz-pop singer. Winehouse died of as-yet-undetermined causes in her London apartment on Saturday afternoon.
Her father, budding lounge singer Mitch Winehouse, was in New York at the time of his daughter’s death and flew back to England to join Amy’s mother, Janis, and brother, Alex, in mourning the “Rehab” star.
“Our family has been left bereft by the loss of Amy, a wonderful daughter, sister, niece,” the family said in a statement released on Sunday. “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.”
They were joined by the thousands of fans across the world and dozens of celebrities who expressed their grief at the passing of the singer, whose chaotic personal life often overshadowed her prodigious talent and outsized persona.
Even those who’d never met Winehouse attested to the breadth of her talent, including Lady Gaga, who posted the following: “Amy changed pop music forever. I remember knowing there was hope, and feeling not alone because of her. She lived jazz, she lived the blues.”
One of the most touching and personal tributes to Amy Winehouse came from actor Russell Brand, who also famously struggled with substance abuse before finding sobriety in 2003. Brand wrote a lengthy post on Saturday in which he touched on the dangers of addiction and sadness over an artist he called a genius.
“Whether this tragedy was preventable or not is now irrelevant. It is not preventable today,” he wrote. “We have lost a beautiful and talented woman to this disease.”
An autopsy is scheduled for Monday in London and police have said the death is being treated as “unexplained” at this point, with no foul play suspected.
After releasing the promising debut Frank in 2003, Winehouse rose to international stardom on the back of 2006′s smash Back to Black. The album won her five Grammys and international acclaim as a groundbreaking artist who mixed the finger-snapping girl group sound of the 1960s with classic jazz crooning and a decidedly 21st-century attitude and swagger.
Fame appeared to only exacerbate whatever personal demons Winehouse was struggling with, as her travails with drug and alcohol addiction, messy personal life and botched concerts quickly overtook talk of her singing prowess. Though she had reportedly been at work on-and-off on a follow-up to Black for several years, at press time a spokesperson for the singer could not be reached for comment on whether Winehouse had completed those sessions and if they produced any music that is slated for release.