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Russell Brand posts touching message to Amy Winehouse

July 25, 2011 Amy Winehouse, Russell Brand

Los Angeles, CA, United States (Celebrity News Service) - British comedian Russell Brand knew late singer Amy Winehouse for years, and says he'll always remember her as "sweet and peculiar but most of all vulnerable."

Brand, who posted a touching message on his website Sunday about the friend he simply called "Winehouse," said they "shared an affliction, the disease of addiction," reports USA Today.

"When you love someone who suffers from the disease of addiction you await the phone call. The sincere hope is that the call will be from the addict themselves, telling you they've had enough, that they're ready to stop, ready to try something new," he wrote. "Of course though, you fear the other call, the sad nocturnal chime from a friend or relative telling you it's too late, she's gone."

The soulful 27-year-old singer, who won five Grammys in 2008 for her hit album "Back to Black," was found dead in her London apartment on Saturday.

Brand, 36, a recovering addict himself, said he knows all too well the lifestyle Winehouse lived and recalled how they first met years ago in Camden, England.

"I was myself at that time barely out of rehab and was thirstily seeking less complicated women so I barely reflected on the now glaringly obvious fact that Winehouse and I shared an affliction, the disease of addiction," Brand wrote.

Brand said that he always knew then that the "Rehab" singer was going to be a star.

"She wasn't just some hapless wannabe, ... who was never gonna make it, nor was she even a ten-a-penny-chanteuse enjoying her fifteen minutes. She was a (expletive) genius"

Now eight years sober, Brand said he hopes this incident helps change "the way we view this condition."

"Whether this tragedy was preventable or not is now irrelevant. It is not preventable today," Brand wrote. "We have lost a beautiful and talented woman to this disease. Not all addicts have Amy's incredible talent ... All we can do is adapt the way we view [addiction], not as a crime or a romantic affectation but as a disease that will kill."

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