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It’s been nearly 10 years since Amy Winehouse died. The soulful singer spent years battling an eating disorder and alcohol addiction before passing away from alcohol poisoning in 2011. But her music and influence lives on. 

Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse 2007 | Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Much has been speculated about Winehouse as a person outside of the spotlight, but only few knew the real her. Tyler James says he’s one of Winehouse’s closest friends and knew her best. He’s preparing for the release of a new memoir detailing his most intimate moments throughout his friendship with Winehouse. One of their final conversations before her death was about her drinking.

Amy Winehouse’s friend details their final conversation before Winehouse’s death

James may have been close to Winehouse but one thing he says he was not was an enabler. Many who surrounded the singer apparently gave in to her demands and allowed her to remain addicted to alcohol for their own personal gain. James says he stood firm with Winehouse.

As a recovering addict himself, James says he knew the dangers of not speaking up to someone also struggling. “She’d be sober for five weeks and then she’d relapse for three days, and she looked up to me because in her eyes I was the worst alcoholic in the world,” he said during an interview on This Morning.

Source: YouTube

Despite his best attempts to stay away during her episodes of binge drinking, James couldn’t stop Winehouse,. “Whenever she relapsed, I’d leave because I was worried she would think I was supporting that. So I’d leave, and within two or three days, she would say, ‘Tyler, come home,’ and I would come back,” he said.

He says their last conversation was regarding his fear of where her drinking would lead her. “I had a massive argument with her because there were letters from the doctor saying if she drank any more, she’d die.”

Unfortunately, Winehouse didn’t listen.

Tyler James says Amy Winehouse didn’t like the spotlight

In his new book My Amy: The Life We Shared, James reveals the two met as teenagers. His memoir documents nearly 18 years of memories with the Back to Black singer. 

He describes Winehouse as “the most amazing person I’ve ever known in my life,” also calling her his “everything” and “my world.”

They lived together during the height of her fame, which he says Winehouse hated. 

Source: YouTube

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Other friends corroborate James’ story that Winehouse did not like the attention that fame brought. Digital Spy reports that her former stylist Alex Foden told reporter Dan Wootton: 

Inside the house, she so loved always [being] welcoming to anybody who was there. She’d invite her fans off the street. She sent me to rehab every time, she was selfless, she didn’t care about money or anything like that. Given an opportunity, I think she would have liked to change her life because she loved cats. She’d rather work with cats, had she loved children and cats. All she wanted was to start a family and open a singing school. The price of fame was hard for Amy.

My Amy is available wherever most hardcover and e-books are sold.