On Wednesday, fans around the world will remember Amy Winehouse and mourn the tragic loss of a soul diva on what would have been her 28th birthday.
Despite the sadness it will be a new beginning for her dad Mitch.
It”s the day of the launch of the foundation he has set up in her name to help young addicts and offer underprivileged kids scholarships to performing arts schools.
“I want her to be a role model,” the 59-year-old told the Sun.
“She hasn”t always been, for obvious reasons. But now we”ve got the chance.”
As Amy”s birthday approaches, Mitch has been remembering the moment he found out he lost his daughter.
“I was in New York when I found out. I was at my cousin”s, cuddling his newborn babies,” he remembers.
“He had just been asking me how Amy was. I said she was fine – then my phone rang.
“It was Andrew, her security guard, in tears. He said something terrible had happened.
Amy had died. I couldn”t understand him at first. I was like ice. I was cool as a cucumber.
“I told him to tell me again. I was still holding the baby when he repeated what he had just said.
“I was in a terrible state of shock.”
Mitch took pride in the fact his daughter had beaten her drug addictions in the years leading up to her death.
Her only problem was alcohol.
She died, he said after suffering a seizure while detoxing from alcohol and “there was nobody there to rescue her”.
According to Mitch the toxicology report showed that traces of the prescription drug Librium were found in her system. It is used to fight anxiety and withdrawal symptoms of alcoholism.
The former cabbie thinks the future was bright for Amy, on account of the new man in her life – director Reg Travis, 35.
“When Reg came on the scene, he was a breath of fresh air. I believe they would have married.
“She wanted to have children and what nicer person to have them with than Reg.
“His manners are from a bygone era. He looked like my dad in the 1940s.
“It is so sad they never had the life they planned. They would have been on holiday now, for Amy”s birthday.”
Remembering the life of an authentic soul rebel