Shortly after he laid his daughter to rest with moving, celebratory eulogy in which he bid, “Goodnight, my angel, sleep tight. Mummy and Daddy love you ever so much,” Amy Winehouse’s father released a statement about the singer that described her frame of mind in her final days.
“Amy was the greatest daughter, family member and friend you could ever have,” said Mitch Winehouse in a letter released on Tuesday afternoon (July 26). “I will talk a lot about her fantastic recovery. Recently Amy found love with [boyfriend] Reg [Traviss]. He helped her with her problems, and Amy was looking forward to their future together. She was the happiest she has been for years. We all remember that great night at the 100 Club on Oxford Street, her voice was good, her wit and timing were perfect.”
The latter was a reference to a secret comeback gig Winehouse played on June 12 at the famed club, where she was reportedly in fine form and ran through a string of her beloved hits, including “Rehab” and “Back to Black,” in what would be one of her final live performances. That happy night would, however, prove to be a rare high point in her bid to restart her career, as Winehouse went on to give a widely panned, shambling show a few days later in Belgrade, Serbia, that resulted in the cancellation of a planned European tour.MTV celebrates Amy Winehouse’s music with a special show this Wednesday.
“She told me that she had ’thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed herself,’ ” Mitch Winehouse added about the 100 Club show. “The last time she called me, she had found a box of old family photos and called me to go over to look. We spoke three times a day at least, she was very excited.”
According to her dad, Winehouse — who had a long, storied struggle with substance abuse — had “conquered” drug dependency three years ago. “The doctors said it was impossible but she really did it. She was trying hard to deal with her drinking and had just completed three weeks of abstinence,” he said. “She said, ’Dad I’ve had enough, I can’t stand the look on your and the family’s faces anymore.’ ”
Hitting out at reports that Amy had been down recently over a nasty breakup with Traviss, Mitch said the “Rehab” singer had not been depressed and had seen both Reg and her mother, Janis, on Friday and was in “good spirits” that day. Winehouse, 27, was found dead on Saturday afternoon in her London apartment of as-yet-undetermined causes. The autopsy proved inconclusive , and the results of toxicology tests are expected to take two to four weeks.Read our Winehouse tribute: In Memoriam, ’Troubled’ Wasn’t The Right Word
“That night [Friday], she was in her room, playing drums and singing,” he said, confirming stories that Winehouse had been up late on Friday night bashing away on her kit. “As it was late, her security guard said to keep it quiet and she did. He heard her walking around for a while and when he went to check on her in the morning he thought she was asleep. He went back a few hours later, that was when he realized she was not breathing and called for help.”
While Mitch Winehouse did not give any indication of what might have killed his daughter — who had been hospitalized several times over the past few years for exhaustion, bad reactions to prescription medication and what he deemed the “early stages” of the incurable lung ailment emphysema — he assured friends and fans that she wasn’t, as some British tabloids have reported, in desperate straits over the weekend. Despite reports that Amy had taken a cocktail of drugs before her death, no drugs were found in the apartment.
“But knowing she wasn’t depressed, knowing she passed away, knowing she passed away happy, it makes us all feel better,” he wrote. Mitch Winehouse added that he would like to start an Amy Winehouse Foundation to help with the things his daughter loved — children, horses and those struggling with substance abuse.
Winehouse was laid to rest on Tuesday morning in London at a small funeral attended by family and friends such as Mark Ronson and Kelly Osbourne, who wore her hair in a towering beehive in honor of Amy’s signature look. According to reports, the service concluded with the congregation singing Amy’s favorite Carole King song, “So Far Away.” Per Winehouse’s wishes, she was cremated after the service.
Celebrate Amy Winehouse on Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT, when MTV will air an encore presentation of a performance she taped in the MTV studios in 2007.