According to the Associated Press, the coroner in charge of assessing the reason behind the death of troubled soul singer Amy Winehouse has confirmed what had long been speculated: alcohol poisoning.
Coroner Suzanne Greenaway officially declared "death by misadventure," saying the singer died of accidental alcohol poisoning when she began drinking heavily again after a month-long struggle to abstain. Several empty vodka bottles were found in the bedroom of her London home where her lifeless body was discovered July 23rd.
Pathologist Suhail Baithun tested blood and urine samples and reported that Winehouse had ingested a "very large quantity of alcohol". Her blood alcohol level was .4 percent according to the findings, more than 4 times the legal limit for driving in the UK.
"The unintended consequence of such potentially fatal levels (of alcohol) was her sudden and unexpected death," Greenaway said.
Amy Winehouse first came to worldwide prominence in 2006 with the release of her second album "Back To Black", which included the worldwide hit "Rehab", an upbeat song with lyrics glorifying her refusal to confront concerns about her drug and alcohol abuse. The song became quickly became an ironic reminder of her troubled life.
Winehouse was nominated for six Grammy Awards in 2008, winning five, including Best New Artist and Record Of The Year. Visa problems, stemming from various arrests, kept her from performing at the ceremony, so producers were forced to broadcast her performance via satellite from London.
Though her music faded from the pop charts, her presence in the tabloids was constant. A troubled marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil, a former video-production assistant, ended in divorce in 2009. The couple were often photographed on the streets of London sporting fresh bruises and cuts.
Contrary to rumor, it has been confirmed that no illegal drugs were found in her system. Winehouse's physician, Dr. Christina Romete, has said that she successfully quit drugs in 2008 with only minor relapses, but that alcohol abuse was a major concern.
"The advice I had given to Amy over a long period of time was verbal and in written form about all the effects alcohol can have on the system, including respiratory depression and death, heart problems, fertility problems and liver problems," she said. "She's made tremendous efforts over the years, but she had her own way and was very determined to do everything her way."