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A father's touching tribute: "She was the happiest she'd been for years"

27 JULY 2011

In his moving eulogy, Amy Winehouse’s dad Mitch made it clear that the troubled singer had been on the road to recovery.

Answering some of the criticism levelled at those close to her over the past few days, he confirmed that the 27-year-old weaned herself off drugs three years ago and was trying to break her dependence to alcohol.

“She was trying hard to deal with her drinking and had just completed three weeks of abstinence.

Scroll down for the full eulogy...

 

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“She said, ‘Dad, I’ve had enough of drinking. I can’t stand the look on your and the family’s faces anymore’.”

He added: “She was the happiest she’d been for years.”

The Sun reporter Gordon Smart, who attended the ceremony, said those watching him speak included Amy’s boyfriend Reg Traviss, who spoke on Tuesday of his devastation over losing the woman he described as ‘my darling’.

The gravity of his loss etched onto his face, the film producer listened as Mitch paid him a glowing tribute, talking about how the couple had been looking forward to their future together.

The taxi driver went on to tell humorous anecdotes from Amy’s childhood to the large group of mourners in the Jewish ceremony, with the men in yarmulke or skullcaps, traditionally worn by Jewish men in synagogues.

Mitch also revealed plans to set up a foundation in his daughter’s name, which will strive to “help those struggling with substance abuse”.

His finals words were: “Goodnight, my angel, sleep tight. Mummy and Daddy love you ever so much.”

The last piece of music played was Amy’s favourite tune, Carole King’s So Far Away, which includes the poignant line: “If I could only work this life out my way.”

 

 

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“Mitch encouraged people to sing along, which they did,” said Amy’s friend and agent Chris Goodman.

Afterwards, the congregation, consisting of famous faces, wealthy record executives and working-class relatives, embraced each other.

Rockstar Bryan Adams hugged Tyler James a childhood friend and ex-boyfriend of Amy's.

Tyler recognised her potential when she was just 16. He sent in the singer's demo tape to the record company, which went on to make her an international star.

And Bryan helped Amy when she divorced Blake Fielder-Civil, lending her his Caribbean home to help with her rehab process.

Sporting a beehive in a tribute to her “best friend”, A-lister Kelly Osbourne wept as she put her arms around Amy’s mum, Janis.

Also there to bid the diva a final farewell was star British DJ Mark Ronson, who described Amy as his “musical soulmate and like a sister to me”.

Meanwhile, Universal Records boss Lucien Grande, who is widely regarded as the most important and influential man in the industry worldwide, queued up patiently to pay his respects to the family.

One person missing from the ceremony was Blake Fielder-Civil, who is currently in prison for a burglary offence.

More on the tragic star



Mitch's final words to his 'angel'
    "Amy was the greatest daughter, family member and friend you could ever have.

    I will talk a lot about her fantastic recovery.

    Recently Amy found love with Reg. He helped her with her problems and Amy was looking forward for 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.

    She told me that she had 'thorougly enjoyed herself'.

    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.

    Three years ago, Amy conquered her drug dependency, 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.

    She said, 'Dad, I've had enough of drinking, I can't stand the look on your and the family's faces anymore'.

    She was not depressed. She saw Janis and Reg on Friday and was in good spirits.

    That night, she was in her room, playing drums and singing. 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 realised she was not breathing and called for help.

    But knowing she wasn't depressed, knowing she passed away, knowing she passed away happy, it makes us all feel better.

    I was in New York with my cousin Michael when I heard and straight away I said I wanted an Amy Winehouse Foundation, something to help the things she loved, children, horses, but also to help those struggling with substance abuse.

    In this country, if you cannot afford a private rehabilitation clinic, there is a two-year waiting list for help. With the help of Keith Vaz MP, we are trying to change that."

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