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Amy Winehouse postmortem inconclusive

By | Published on Tuesday 26 July 2011

Amy Winehouse

The results of a postmortem on the body of Amy Winehouse yesterday were inconclusive. An inquest was opened at St Pancras Coroner’s Court but met for just two minutes before being adjourned until 26 Oct. Officials said they would now have to wait for the results of toxicology and histology tests, which will not be returned until next month. The late singer’s funeral is expected to take place later today. A small gathering for family and close friends is planned.

Meanwhile, Winehouse’s parents Mitch and Janis appeared outside the singer’s North London home yesterday afternoon, having formally identified their daughter’s body earlier in the day. Mitch thanked the assembled mourners for their support, saying: “I can’t tell you what this means to us – it really is making this a lot easier for us. We’re devastated and I’m speechless, but thanks for coming”.

As other tributes continued to flood in, Russell Brand published a lengthy blog post about the singer, noting that, aged 27 when she died, Winehouse was now a member of the so called 27 Club of legendary musicians who died too young, at the age of 27. Other ‘club members’ included Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. A friend of Winehouse, and someone with first hand experience of the challenges involved in battling addiction, Brand called on the public to view people with drug and alcohol problems with more sensitivity.

He wrote: “Now Amy Winehouse is dead, like many others whose unnecessary deaths have been retrospectively romanticised, at 27 years old. 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. 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”.

He continued: “We need to review the way society treats addicts, not as criminals but as sick people in need of care. We need to look at the way our government funds rehabilitation. It is cheaper to rehabilitate an addict than to send them to prison, so criminalisation doesn’t even make economic sense. Not all of us know someone with the incredible talent that Amy had, but we all know drunks and junkies and they all need help and the help is out there. All they have to do is pick up the phone and make the call. Or not. Either way, there will be a phone call”.

Extensive media coverage of Winehouse’s untimely passing continued yesterday, though you sensed some websites were picking up on the story, or covering it from multiple angles, simply to capitalise on public interest to boost web statistics. Meanwhile some sites were openly criticised for seeming to take commercial advantage of Winehouse’s death, most notably one of Microsoft’s official Xbox Twitter feed which was forced to apologise after tweeting “Remember Amy Winehouse by downloading the ground-breaking ‘Back To Black’ album over at [our download store] Zune”.

Winehouse was, of course, found dead at her London home on Saturday afternoon. It is not yet clear what circumstances led to her death.