Amy Winehouse's Cause of Death: Alcohol Poisoning

Amy Winehouse won the Grammy for best new artist on Sunday, bringing her tally for the ceremony to three statuettes.

The 24-year-old artist, whose promising career has been derailed by drug and legal problems, was the favourite to the win the coveted award.

The beehive-coiffed singer earlier won Grammys for pop vocal album and female pop vocal performance, and remains in contention for the key awards of album, song and record of the year, which will be handed out later during the ceremony.

Winehouse accepted her award at a London recording studio, from which she is scheduled to perform via satellite feed during the Grammy telecast. She checked into a rehab clinic last month and was unable to secure a work visa to travel to the United States until late Friday. By that stage, it was too late to change her plans.

Winehouse's old-school blend of soul, jazz and R&B turned her into a major star last year. Her second album, "Back to Black," was the year's top-selling release in Britain. It also peaked at No. 6 on the American charts.

However, she has garnered more headlines for her drug habits and erratic behaviour.

She becomes the first British artist to win the best new artist Grammy since Nigerian-born R&B singer Sade in 1986.

The other nominees for the category this year were Canadian singer-songwriter Feist, R&B singer Ledisi, rock band Paramore, and country singer Taylor Swift.

(Editing by Steve Gorman and Philip Barbara)
Update Wednesday October 26, 2011 11:20 AM EDTOriginally posted Wednesday October 26, 2011 10:25 AM EDT
Amy Winehouse's Cause of Death: Alcohol Poisoning | Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse
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Amy Winehouse's July 23 death was the "unintended consequence" of drinking too much alcohol, British coroner Suzanne Greenaway announced Wednesday. 

Ruling that it was "death by misadventure," the coroner stated that Winehouse, 27, was more than five times over the legal limit, according to the inquest, and two large bottles and one small bottle of vodka were found in the bedroom of her London home. 

Winehouse was an "intelligent, determined young woman who, at times, was able to successful abstain from alcohol," the coroner said while announcing the cause of death as "alcohol toxicity." 

Winehouse's parents, Mitch and Janis, were in the court to hear the verdict. At the end, Mitch, a taxi driver and singer, embraced his daughter's doctor, Christina Romete. 

Earlier, the physician had told the court that she last saw Winehouse on the evening before her death. The singer, who had successfully battled drugs problems, had started drinking again after a period of abstinence, Dr. Romete said. 

Romete said Winehouse had been "tipsy" but "calm" and coherent and "able to hold a conversation" during the visit. "She didn’t want to die, she was looking forward to the future," the doctor added. 

Winehouse's family had suggested that stopping drinking might have caused Winehouse's sudden death. It earlier has been determined that no illegal drugs had been found in her system. 

After learning of the cause of death, Winehouse's family issued a statement, saying, "It is some relief to finally find out what happened to Amy. We understand there was alcohol in her system when she passed away; it is likely a build up of alcohol in her system over a number of days. The court heard that Amy was battling hard to conquer her problems with alcohol and it is a source of great pain to us that she could not win in time."