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OTRC: Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning, coroner says

Amy Winehouse appears in a photo posted on the singer's Facebook page on November 9, 2007. Winehouse died on July 23, 2011. (facebook.com/amywinehouse)

Amy Winehouse died of accidental alcohol poisoning, a British coroner says, referencing the results of a judicial inquiry into the death of the 27-year-old British soul singer, who had battled substance abuse for years.

The Grammy-winner was found dead in her London apartment on July 23. Her blood alcohol level was five times the British drunk driving limit and three empty vodka bottles were found in her apartment at the time of her death, the BBC reported on Wednesday, October 26.

Coroner Suzanne Greenaway gave a verdict of "death by misadventure," saying Winehouse died of accidental alcohol poisoning after she resumed drinking after remaining sober for weeks, the Associated Press reported. "The unintended consequence of such potentially fatal levels was her sudden and unexpected death," the news wire quoting her as saying.

Winehouse's vital organs were healthy but the massive amounts of alcohol in her body could have stopped her breathing and sent her into a coma, according to a pathologist's report, which also found that no illegal substances were found in her body.

After the inquiry, Winehouse's family said in a statement, carried by the BBC, that it was "some relief to finally find out what happened to Amy," adding: "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."

Her family had said in August that toxicology tests showed Winehouse did not have illegal drugs in her system when she died and that alcohol was present, but officials had not yet determined if it played a role in her death.

For the past few years, Winehouse had been in and out of rehab to combat addictions to alcohol and drugs and famously made headlines in 2008 after an online video appeared to show her smoking crack cocaine.

She had planned a music comeback prior to her death and in 2010, she said she had not done drugs in almost three years. Her last rehab stint at a treatment center came in May and lasted mere days. She later canceled all dates of a planned European tour and her spokesperson said she wanted to focus on recovering.

Winehouse's Grammy-winning 2006 "Back to Black" album, which contained the ironically-titled single "Rehab," was recently certified as the best-selling UK album of the 21st century. A duet she recorded with veteran crooner Tony Bennett, called "Body and Soul," was released in September.

Since her death, her father, Mitch, signed a deal with Harper Collins to write a book about his daughter. It is set to be released in the summer of 2012. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Proceeds from the book will be donated a charity founded by her father that helps troubled children and young adults.

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