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Private funeral planned for Winehouse

LONDON (AFP) ― The family and close friends of British soul singer Amy Winehouse were Tuesday set to hold a private funeral after a post-mortem failed to establish a cause of the 27-year-old’s death.

A family spokesman said the ceremony for the troubled diva, who was found dead at her London home on Saturday, will be confined to family and close friends. He did not disclose the location or the time.
Mitch (crouching) and Janis Winehouse, (center right) father and mother of late British singer Amy Winehouse, look at flowers, pictures and messages left in tribute to their daughter near her house in north London, on Monday. (AFP-Yonhap News)
Mitch (crouching) and Janis Winehouse, (center right) father and mother of late British singer Amy Winehouse, look at flowers, pictures and messages left in tribute to their daughter near her house in north London, on Monday. (AFP-Yonhap News)

A post-mortem examination took place on Monday and an inquest was formally opened, allowing the body to be released to her family for her funeral. Jewish funerals traditionally take place as soon as possible following a death.

The singer’s parents Mitch and Janis Winehouse formally identified her remains before going to see the shrine of flowers, messages, candles, beer cans and vodka bottles outside her home in Camden Square, north London.

Taxi driver Mitch said they were “devastated” by Winehouse’s death, which is not being treated as suspicious. The cause of death remains unknown.

With her sultry vocals and trademark beehive hairstyle, Winehouse was considered one of the finest British female singers in years, but she had struggled with drink and drug addictions.

The post-mortem was conducted at the St Pancras Mortuary, with the formal inquest opened and adjourned to October 26 in a two-minute hearing at St Pancras Coroner’s Court.

Inquests in England establish the identity of the deceased, and the place, time and cause of death.

Coroner’s officer Sharon Duff gave Winehouse’s full name, age, date and place of birth, divorcee status, address and occupation. She said her parents had identified the body and tissue samples had been taken.

“She was certified dead at her home by a paramedic and a doctor on July 23,” Duff said.

“A section 20 post-mortem has been carried out and histology and toxicology taken to determine the cause of death.

“It (the post-mortem) did not establish a formal cause of death,” added a police statement.

The scene was investigated by police and determined non-suspicious.

Police said the toxicology results were not expected for two to four weeks.

Mitch Winehouse, who flew back from New York after hearing of his daughter’s death, could barely speak as he was consoled by fans and well-wishers.
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