Amy Winehouse Dead: private funeral to be held

The family of Amy Winehouse will hold a private funeral for the singer, who was found dead on Saturday at the age of 27. The funeral will be held in an undisclosed location with only family members and close friends present, said family spokesman Chris Goodman.

It is understood it will be held in three different stages, with the body of the singer expected to be cremated. The Jewish ceremony of bereavement, shiva, will be observed at a synagogue and later at the family home.

A postmortem carried out on Monday following the sudden death of the singer did not establish the cause of her death. Further toxicology tests will be carried out with a definitive result expected in two to four weeks.

A postmortem was carried out on Monday, hours after Winehouse's parents formally identified her body, paving the way for a funeral. According to Jewish tradition the funeral of a deceased loved one should be happen as soon as possible after the death, with the mourning period lasting for seven days.

An inquest into the singer's death was opened at St Pancras coroner's court and adjourned until 26 October.

The 27-year-old singer, who fought a well-documented battle with drugs and alcohol, was found dead at her home in Camden Town by her bodyguard at around 4pm on Saturday afternoon. Police have said only that her death is unexplained, and that speculation regarding an overdose is "inappropriate".

Camera crews from around the world gathered outside her home on Monday as fans talked about their love of the singer, and some took photos of themselves in front of her house. Many left flowers and notes. One read: "Too fragile, too beautiful, too big a talent for this world." Another thanked the star, saying: "Thanks to you I kept struggling in the toughest times."

The impromptu shrine outside her home features photos as well as cards and notes, including an image of Winehouse posing in a bar. There is also a picture amended by artist Mysterious Al, showing her face with monochrome cartoon eyes and a white lightning strike in her beehive hair. Other less wholesome tributes were also on display, including half-full bottles of vodka and packets of cigarettes.

At St Pancras coroner's court the assistant deputy coroner, Suzanne Greenaway, said further toxicology tests would be carried out to establish how the singer died. During the brief inquest opening she mentioned only the bare facts of the death.

Winehouse released only two albums in her short career. The first, Frank, went relatively unnoticed but the follow-up Back to Black propelled the artist to stratospheric success, winning her five Grammy awards.

After the release of the album she was often in the headlines as much for her chaotic personal life as her music, including well-documented drug and alcohol problems and a tempestuous relationship with her former husband Blake Civil-Fielder.

Fans have reacted to her death not only by laying flowers and writing tributes, but by buying her albums, with both of her records entering the charts. Her influence on a ream of female stars has been noted, with artists like Lady Gaga saying she "changed pop music forever". She tweeted: "I remember knowing there was hope, and feeling not alone because of her. She lived jazz, she lived the blues."

Adele, a singer who like Winehouse has achieved huge success with her second album, paid tribute to the singer on her website. "Amy paved the way for artists like me and made people excited about British music again whilst being fearlessly hilarious and blasé," she wrote. "Although I'm incredibly sad about Amy passing I'm also reminded of how immensely proud of her I am, and grateful to be inspired by her.'

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Amy Winehouse Dead: private funeral to be held Amy Winehouse Dead: private funeral to be held Reviewed by afree on 8:51 PM Rating: 5

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