Comedian Russell Brand has paid a lengthy tribute to Amy Winehouse on his website.
Russell met the singer on the Camden pub scene a number of years ago, and said at first he thought she was "just some twit in a pink satin jacket shuffling round bars".
But when he spoke to her it became clear she was "sweet and peculiar but most of all vulnerable".
By chance Russell saw her perform with Paul Weller at the Roundhouse in Camden, north London, and had an epiphany.
He wrote: "Entering the space I saw Amy on stage with Weller and his band; and then the awe.
"The awe that envelops when witnessing a genius.
"From her oddly dainty presence that voice, a voice that seemed not to come from her but from somewhere beyond even Billie and Ella, from the font of all greatness."
Russell has given frank accounts of his battle to overcome drug addiction in the past, and said loved ones will always fear getting a phone call with the worst news possible.
He wrote: "Addiction is a serious disease; it will end with jail, mental institutions or death.
"Now Amy Winehouse is dead, like many others whose unnecessary deaths have been retrospectively romanticised, at 27 years old.
"Whether this tragedy was preventable or not is now irrelevant. It is not preventable today.
"All we can do is adapt the way we view this condition, not as a crime or a romantic affectation but as a disease that will kill."
Russell's full tribute to Amy
Photo: © Getty