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Winehouse Foundation launches on late singer's b-day

Sep 14, 2011, 9:13 a.m.
British singer Amy Winehouse arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court in central London July 23, 2009. REUTERS/Toby Melville

By Alice Baghdjian

LONDON (Reuters) - A charitable foundation was launched in memory of British singer Amy Winehouse on Wednesday, marking what would have been the artist's 28th birthday.

The Amy Winehouse Foundation aims to help young people in the Britain and abroad with problems including ill-health, disability and addiction - causes close to the "Back to Black" singer's heart, her family said.

"Amy was very generous and we kept coming back to the thought of how much she loved children," Winehouse's father Mitch said in a statement.

"It seemed appropriate that the focus of our work should be with young people, those who are vulnerable either through ill health or circumstance. Amy touched millions throughout the world and I know she will continue to, through the Foundation," he said.

The launch of the foundation coincided with the release of Winehouse's final recording, "Body and Soul," a duet with 85-year-old crooner Tony Bennett.

Proceeds from sales of the track are to form one of the first major donations to the charitable fund.

The hit album "Back to Black," one of only two released by Winehouse during her brief career, earned the singer five Grammy awards and featured her most famous single "Rehab."

As well as her music, the beehive-haired star was infamous for her long struggle with alcohol and drug addiction, although a toxicology report showed she was not taking illegal drugs at the time of her death.

(Edited by Paul Casciato)

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