How Did Amy Winehouse Die? What to Remember About Her Sudden Death

Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse died more than a decade ago, but the release of the new biopic Back to Black has sparked new interest in her life and legacy.

The film stars Marisa Abela as the late singer, who became a global phenomenon following the release of her 2006 album, Back to Black. Winehouse’s family wasn’t involved with production of the film, but director Sam Taylor-Johnson met with her parents ahead of filming.

Related: Get to Know the Actress Playing Amy Winehouse in 'Back to Black'

“It was important to meet with them out of respect,” she told Empire in February 2024. “But they have no involvement in terms of … like, they couldn’t change things. They couldn’t dictate how I was to shoot. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have done it.”

While some fans have taken issue with the casting of Abela as Winehouse, Winehouse’s dad, Mitch, was on board. In 2023, he told TMZ that he didn’t mind that the actress doesn’t closely resemble his daughter—and thought she was a “great choice” for the role.

Keep reading for everything to know about Winehouse’s death:

How did Amy Winehouse die?

Winehouse’s official cause of death was alcohol toxicity, as reported by coroner Suzanne Greenaway. Greenaway ruled that Winehouse’s passing was “death by misadventure” and an “unintended consequence” of drinking too much alcohol. The coroner’s report also stated that Winehouse’s blood alcohol level was more than five times over the legal limit at the time of her death.

A second inquest into Winehouse’s death was conducted in 2013, nearly two years after death, following an investigation that determined Greenaway didn’t have the relevant qualifications for the role. The second inquest came to the same conclusion that Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning. Shirley Radcliffe, the second coroner, said Winehouse’s BAC was “a level of alcohol commonly associated with fatality” and noted that “two empty vodka bottles were on the floor” beside the singer’s bed when her body was discovered.

Pathologist Michael Sheaff, who also participated in the death inquest, said that Winehouse likely experienced a respiratory arrest as a result of her drinking. Winehouse’s personal doctor, Dr. Christina Romete, noted that her patient had stopped drinking for almost two weeks before she resumed consuming alcohol shortly before her death. Romete believed that Winehouse’s death was accidental, telling officials, “She did not want to die. She was looking forward to the future.”

When did Amy Winehouse die?

Winehouse died on July 23, 2011. Officials noted at the time that she had likely been dead for several hours before she was pronounced dead by first responders at 3:54 p.m. local time.

She was honored in a private funeral on July 26, 2011, held at Edgwarebury Lane Cemetery in North London. Her parents were in attendance along with celebrities including Mark Ronson (who produced Back to Black), Nick Grimshaw and Kelly Osbourne. Winehouse’s body was later cremated and interred alongside those of her grandmother Cynthia Levy.

How old was Amy Winehouse when she died?

Winehouse was 27 when she died. She is one of many celebrities who died at that age, making her part of the so-called “27 Club.” Other notable musicians who died at 27 include Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin.

Coincidentally, Marisa Abela, who plays Winehouse in the biopic Back to Black, was 27 when the film hit theaters in May 2024. Abela said she felt like she had “no sense of self” while she filmed the movie. “It was a physically and emotionally draining period,” she told the Los Angeles Times in May 2024. “Amy is such an intense life force. There are different types of characters—some are solid and if you put them in a box there’s still a lot of space left, and some are like a liquid and they move around and you’re still in there too. But some are like gas and fill whatever space they’re in. That’s what playing Amy was like.”

Where did Amy Winehouse die?

Winehouse died at her home in the Camden neighborhood of London. She was found unresponsive in her bedroom by her bodyguard, who called emergency services.

Abela relocated to Camden while prepping for Back to Black, in part to give her roommates a break from the sound of her practicing guitar. “It was important to her to be in Camden always,” Abela told the Associated Press in May 2024. “Everyone has stories and that’s really helpful. … There’s just an amazing history to these venues, especially the music venues that she was a part of and then became a part of her legacy.”

Related: 65 Best Movies Based on True Stories

What illness did Amy Winehouse have?

In addition to struggling with alcohol use during her life, Winehouse had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression. “I do drink a lot. I think it’s symptomatic of my depression,” she told a British TV. “I’m manic depressive, I’m not an alcoholic, which sounds like an alcoholic in denial.”

She also battled an eating disorder before her death. After her passing, her brother, Alex Winehouse, claimed that she suffered from bulimia. “That’s not a revelation—you knew just by looking at her. … She would have died eventually, the way she was going, but what really killed her was the bulimia. … Absolutely terrible,” he told The Guardian in 2013. “I think that it left her weaker and more susceptible. Had she not had an eating disorder, she would have been physically stronger.”

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