July 27, 2011 (AFP) – Amy Winehouse’s family and friends paid their last respects to the troubled British soul singer at her funeral on Tuesday, three days after the 27-year-old was found dead at her London home.
Her father Mitch Winehouse ended his eulogy with the heartbreaking words: “Goodnight my angel, sleep tight. Mummy and Daddy love you ever so much.”
He and his ex-wife Janis have said they were “devastated” by the death of their daughter, who was one of the finest British singers of her generation but had struggled with addictions to alcohol and drugs.
Winehouse was found dead on Saturday afternoon at her home in north London.
A post-mortem examination on Monday failed to establish a formal cause of death, and police said the results of further toxicology tests could take between two and four weeks. However, her death is not being viewed as suspicious.
DJ Mark Ronson, who produced most of the 2006 album “Back to Black” which catapulted Winehouse to international stardom, was among several hundred people attending the Jewish funeral at Edgwarebury Cemetery in northwest London.
The service included prayers in English and Hebrew and ended with everyone singing Winehouse’s favourite song, “So Far Away” by Carole King.
During the eulogy, Mitch Winehouse said his daughter had been on the path to recovery at the time of her death.
“Three years ago, Amy conquered her drug dependency,” he stressed. “She was trying hard to deal with her drinking and had just completed three weeks of abstinence.
“She said, ‘Dad I’ve had enough of drinking, I can’t stand the look on your and the family’s faces anymore’.
The singer’s father revealed Winehouse was “in good spirits” on the eve of her death after seeing boyfriend Reg Traviss and mother Janis.
“Knowing she wasn’t depressed, knowing she passed away happy, it makes us all feel better,” he added.
“Amy was the greatest daughter, family member and friend you could ever have.”
After the service, the singer’s body was taken to a nearby crematorium where a smaller group would say goodbye.
Traviss told The Sun newspaper on Tuesday that the past few days had been “hell”.
“We have suffered a terrible untimely loss and want peace now,” he said.
“I can’t describe what I am going through and I want to thank so much all of the people who have paid their respects and who are mourning the loss of Amy, such a beautiful, brilliant person and my dear love.
“I have lost my darling who I love very much.”
Traviss had been dating Winehouse for two years, following her divorce from Blake Fielder-Civil in July 2009. Their two-year marriage had been tempestuous, and Fielder-Civil spent part of it behind bars for attacking a pub landlord.
With her sultry vocals, Winehouse became an international star with “Back to Black”, her second and last album, which won her five Grammy awards and also contained her biggest-selling single “Rehab”.
The singer is expected to top the British charts when they come out on Sunday following a huge surge in demand for “Back to Black” and her debut album, “Frank”, released in 2003.
Winehouse’s back-up singers, Zalon and Heshima Thompson, were among those attending the funeral, as was television personality Kelly Osbourne, wearing her hair in what appeared to be Winehouse’s trademark beehive style.
Winehouse’s hit song “Rehab”, about her refusal to seek treatment for her addictions, was typical of how she used her music to lay bare her demons.
But they increasingly took over, and she had to scrap a European comeback tour after stumbling through the opening performance in Belgrade on June 18.
The inquest, which will establish the cause of death, was formally opened on Monday before being immediately adjourned until October 26.