Relatives of singer Amy Winehouse said her untimely death has left a “gaping hole” in their lives.
Her family released a statement expressing their grief at the loss of the 27-year-old, who was found dead in her north London home on Saturday afternoon.
It said: “Our family has been left bereft by the loss of Amy, a wonderful daughter, sister, niece.
“She leaves a gaping hole in our lives. We are coming together to remember her and we would appreciate some privacy and space at this terrible time.”
A spokesman for the family said the funeral would be held as soon as possible, but that the post-mortem examination and police investigation made it impossible to set a date and no details had yet been agreed.
He added that one of Winehouse’s security team had found her and called an ambulance, but she could not be saved.
Winehouse battled drink and drug problems throughout her career and news of her death was quickly followed by suggestions that it could be related to one or the other.
Superintendent Raj Kohli warned on Saturday that it was “inappropriate” to speculate at this stage on the cause of death, which is being treated as “unexplained”. Scotland Yard said that a post-mortem examination would be scheduled today.
The singer’s grief-stricken mother Janis told the Sunday Mirror she had seen her daughter the day before she was found dead.
She said: “She seemed out of it. But her passing so suddenly still hasn’t hit me.”
The performer had said “I love you” at the end of a day out together, and her mother said she would always treasure those words.
Father Mitch, who flew back from New York when he heard the news, said: “This isn’t real. I’m completely devastated.”
Celebrities including former drug addict Russell Brand, Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood and producer Mark Ronson have all paid tribute to the multi-award winning performer.
Brand called her “a genius” and said addiction should be treated like a potentially fatal illness.
Wood performed with The Faces on Saturday night and dedicated I Would Rather Go Blind to her. He said: “Such a beautiful singer, Such a waste.”
Tributes have been left at the edge of police cordons surrounding the singer’s Camden home, including alcoholic drinks and cigarettes, alongside soft toys, flowers and candles.
Pieces of artwork had also been laid down, including a striking photo of Winehouse posing in a bar, and a picture by artist Mysterious Al, showing Winehouse’s face with monochrome cartoon eyes and a white streak in her trademark beehive hair.
Many notes were also left, one reading: “Too fragile, too beautiful, too big a talent for this world”, and another which said: “To an exquisite singer with a beautiful voice”.
Metropolis Music, Winehouse’s management company, released a statement saying: “We are trying to come to terms with the death of a dear friend and colleague, the most amazing artist and talent.
“We will always remember Amy as a vibrant, funny, caring young woman who made everyone around her feel welcome. We have lost a very special person, part of our family.”
The troubled Back To Black artist had cancelled all tour dates and engagements last month after a series of erratic public appearances. She was booed at a shambolic performance in Serbia.
As well as flocking to her home, fans also paid tribute at the Hawley Arms pub in Camden, once a favourite haunt of the pop star.
The pub said in a statement: “We are shocked and deeply saddened by the news of Amy’s death. Apart from her extraordinary musical talent, she was a special person with a good soul and this should not have happened.
“We feel privileged to have known her and we will sorely miss her.”
Ronson said in his statement: “She was my musical soulmate and like a sister to me. This is one of the saddest days of my life.”
Winehouse joins the notorious “27 Club” of musicians who have died at that age after struggling to cope with fame.
They include Rolling Stone Brian Jones, who drowned in a swimming pool in 1969; guitarist Jimi Hendrix, who choked to death in 1970 after mixing wine with sleeping pills; and singer Janis Joplin, who suffered a suspected heroin overdose the same year.
Doors star Jim Morrison, who died of heart failure in 1971, and Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, who shot himself in 1994, also died at the young age.