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Amy Winehouse scores posthumous No.1

By Bryony Jones, CNN
December 12, 2011 -- Updated 1351 GMT (2151 HKT)
"Rehab" and "Valerie" singer Amy Winehouse was found dead at her home in July; an inquest ruled she died of alcohol poisoning
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Amy Winehouse's posthumous album "Lioness: Hidden Treasures" hits No.1
  • Longtime collaborators Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson trawled archives for new material
  • Singer died of alcohol poisoning in July, aged just 27

London (CNN) -- Singer Amy Winehouse has topped the British charts with a new album, more than four months after her death.

The posthumous collection, "Lioness: Hidden Treasures," features 12 tracks; unreleased songs and alternative versions of some of her hits.

Winehouse's longtime producers Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson trawled through hours of recordings to compile the album, which also includes "Body and Soul," her duet with crooner Tony Bennett.

The "Rehab" and "Valerie" songstress died in July at the age of 27, following a long and well-documented battle with drink and drugs.

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An inquest ruled she died of alcohol poisoning, with a blood-alcohol level more than five times the drink-drive limit.

Review: Winehouse's "Lioness" is bittersweet

Winehouse's mother Janis welcomed news of the album's success in a statement on amywinehouse.com, saying it was "amazing news."

"[It] just goes to show what she still means to people... I'm so proud of my daughter and so happy that she is still touching people. She's forever in my heart."

Gennaro Castaldo, spokesman for music retailer HMV, said "Lioness" had long been tipped as a big hit, following a massive upsurge in demand for Winehouse's music following her death.

"We fully expected it to go straight in at No.1, but to do so achieving such a level of sales is truly remarkable and shows how Amy's music continues to touch so many people," he said.

Winehouse is the latest in a string of artists to notch up major music sales after their death: Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra and Eva Cassidy all saw similar success.

Paul Stokes, associate editor of music magazine "Q" said such posthumous releases were risky, but could offer new windows into an artist's talent.

"It's unlikely you'll ever know what the artist in question thought of it and whether they are happy for the public to hear it as they're not finished," he told CNN.

"However these records do shed often a different light on an artist's creative process so can be of merit artistically.

"And in the case where a singer has passed away suddenly, as with Amy Winehouse, they give fans an opportunity to hear the best versions of what's left behind rather than poor quality bootlegs or studio leaks."

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