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Amy Winehouse one of the greatest singers ever, says Sylvia Young

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Amy Winehouse performing during the Nationwide Mercury Music Prize at the Grosvenor House Hotel, 2007.

© PA Images / Lewis Whyld/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Amy Winehouse's former headteacher Sylvia Young has described the late star as "one of the greatest".

Winehouse attended the famous Sylvia Young Theatre school after winning a half scholarship as a 13-year-old.

"The voice was beautiful at 13 and she sang something like 'The Sunny Side of the Street' in an old-fashioned jazzy style. She was fantastic," Young told the BBC.

"We certainly thought she would do well in the musical field. She was extremely bright and wrote brilliantly."

> Obituary: Amy Winehouse
> Amy Winehouse 1983-2011: A life in pictures

Young claimed that Winehouse's death still came as a shock to her, despite her well-publicised battles with drink and drugs.

"We really believed that she was getting herself back on her feet," she said. "I know some people close to me, who were speaking to her over the last week and she seemed much more buoyant.

"It leaves a great big hole and hurt to know she is not with us."

Winehouse was a "wild spirit" who was "naughty" in school because she was easily bored, according to Young. "She was so bright that ordinary academics would bore her stiff," she said.

Young also claimed that even during her recent decline that Winehouse remained "a down-to-earth person" who was "very friendly, very warm".

"I think her albums will be absolute classics. They will become even more listened to and certainly she deserves to be at the top amongst the greatest singers there's ever been," she added.

> Amy Winehouse death: reactions so far
> Amy Winehouse: Career highlights in pictures

Watch Amy Winehouse performing 'Valerie' with The Dap-Kings below:

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