Just three days before she was found dead in her apartment on Saturday, Amy Winehouse appeared happy and healthy as she danced alongside her goddaughter, singer Dionne Bromfield, at a London venue.
Chewing gum, clapping her hands and shimmying along casually clad in jeans, a Fred Perry shirt and her trademark bouffant hairstyle, Winehouse hugged her protégé and playfully urged the screaming crowd to sing along to Bromfield’s hit “Mamma Said.”
Sadly, it would be the last time an audience would ever see her on stage.
“She’s a great kid and she’s going through some rough stuff at the moment,” her father Mitch Winehouse told The New York Times in an interview that was published July 19. “But the last few weeks she’s been absolutely fantastic.”
While details of Winehouse’s death are still emerging, friends were heartbroken after learning the news. “We thought she was getting better,” a music producer close to the Grammy-winning singer tells PEOPLE. “She has seemed fine. Everyone is just shocked and sad.”
Known as much for her self-destructive behavior and battles with drug and alcohol addiction as she was for her soulful voice and retro style that made her one of the most successful female performers of the last decade, Winehouse became a star after the whirlwind success of 2007’s Back to Black.
That album spawned hits including her signature tune, “Rehab,” and earned her six Grammy nominations and five wins in 2008, including some of the night’s biggest – best new artist, record of the year, and song of the year.
Winehouse, who had been working on new music, checked into rehab in May as part of her ongoing battle with alcohol addition, to ready herself for a summer tour. “Her dad sat her down and said ‘I think you’re drinking too much again.’ So she agreed to go to an assessment to stop it becoming a bigger problem,” a source told PEOPLE at the time.
“She’s determined, and this is all off her own back. It’s just a lapse,” the source said. “There are ups and downs on the road, and there have been mostly ups recently. But this is a down and she’s done the right thing and gone to rehab.”
But, “in typical Amy style,” the source added, she downed a miniature bottle of vodka on her way to the clinic. A month later, in June, she was forced to cancel her tour after stumbling and slurring her words during a gig in Serbia.
Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy, hopes Winehouse will be remembered for her honest songwriting, soulful and unique voice and the respect and admiration of her musical peers.
“[She] was a dynamic performer and musician who seamlessly blended rock, jazz, pop, and soul and created a sound all her own,” Portnow said in a statement. “She will forever be remembered for her immense talent, and her music will live on for generations to come.”
• With reporting by MONIQUE JESSEN