Amy Winehouse"It's just unbelievable," music guru Ian "Molly" Meldrum said last night, describing Winehouse as a lovely person.
"She was very funny at times and had immense talent," he told the Herald Sun.
"Obviously she was a bit lost and consumed by the world of drugs and alcohol."
Meldrum said he first met the soulful singer in 2006 when their interview in a tiny New York hotel room was conducted over copious amounts of vodka.
At a major concert that night, Meldrum said Winehouse, who emerged staggering on-stage with a huge glass of Baileys and vodka, was a mumbling mess when she spoke into the microphone.
"But when she started singing, she was pitch perfect. She was just wonderful," Meldrum said.
It was that unpredictability, he said, that ensured no Australian promoter could gamble on bringing her Down Under for a tour.
Reg Traviss watches mourners in LondonHer career was derailed by her addictions, often played out in public.
The depth of her troubles was revealed at her most recent concert in Belgrade, when she was too drunk to perform. She subsequently pulled out of all future engagements.
Ron Brand, a friend of Winehouse and the father of the comedian Russell Brand, told The (London) Sunday Times he visited her after she returned from Serbia. "She was distant and fragile," he said.
Amy Winehouse has a drink on stageMusic industry sources told the Times Winehouse had been drinking heavily in recent days, and it was believed her body was discovered by one of her bodyguards.
On Wednesday, Winehouse appeared at a concert by her goddaughter, Dionne Bromfield, at London's iTunes festival.
In her last public appearance, she was offered the microphone but refused to sing.
Amy Winehouse's parents with a waxed figure of their daughterThe British singer is the latest member of the tragic "27 Club".
The beehived soul-jazz diva and five-time Grammy award-winner, has joined the ranks of rock legends Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain and Rolling Stone Brian Jones who have died all too young at 27.
Winehouse was said to be inconsolable after being dumped by her on-off boyfriend Reg Traviss just before she checked herself into London's Priory rehabilitation clinic last month.
Traviss, who had previously turned down a marriage proposal from the star, was desperate to help Winehouse turn her life around, friends said.
When he realised she could not beat her demons, Traviss ended the relationship.