Amy Winehouse 'forced to tour when barely conscious'

Amy Winehouse's best friend claimed she was forced to perform when "barely conscious".

The 27-year-old singer relapsed before her final ill-fated European tour and Tyler James - who was Amy's best pal since they were teenagers - claims she was put on a plane for the tour despite being "delirious and weak".

In an extract from 'My Amy, by Tyler James' , featured in The Mail on Sunday newspaper, Tyler wrote: "She started drinking, a full-blown relapse, and she drank for five days. Every day management came round, and every day they’d tell me I needed to get her to stop drinking.

"The day of the show, the boys picked Amy up off the sofa, because they were told to, and put her in the car. She was barely conscious.

"I sat next to her, thinking, ‘This is so wrong.’ She was so delirious and weak, the boys had to help her on to the plane, arms around her, guiding her up the steps.

We got to the Hyatt Hotel in Belgrade. Amy had no idea where she was. She wasn’t just in a bad way – sick, shaky, withdrawing – she was mostly semi-unconscious, the result of five days’ solid drinking.

"For eight hours, every hour, I was getting calls from management. ‘Is she all right?’ I kept saying, ‘No, she’s completely unconscious. There’s no way she can do a gig tonight'."

The performance was a disaster.

Tyler said: "I was standing in the wings like I always did. This time I was crying, dreading what might happen next. The show was awful. It was nearly five years since Back To Black, and here she was propped up on a stage trying to sing Rehab, which she couldn’t stand any more. She couldn’t sing, she was stumbling back and forth, fell backwards into her backing singers. The crowd were booing, drunk, yobby.

"A sick girl was thrown in at the deep end and everyone watched her drown in front of their eyes. That footage went all over the world and made Amy look like nothing but a mess. I hated everyone for it. Six days before, she had been perfectly normal."

Amy later cancelled the tour and flew back to London, where she died of alcohol poisoning the following month.

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