The accused drug dealer who allegedly sold heroin to Philip Seymour Hoffman was like the grim reaper ... befriending at least 3 major celebs who all died from ODs.
Robert Vineberg was a well-known musician who surrounded himself with other artists ... and counted Hoffman, Amy Winehouse and famed NYC artist Jean-Michel Basquiat among his friends.
We're told ... Basquiat and Vineberg used A LOT of heroin during the 80s in Vineberg's apartment -- the same place Hoffman visited years later to allegedly score smack. We're told Basquiat injected the heroin with a needle. He died of a heroin OD in '88 ... after sinking into a deep depression over the death of his close friend Andy Warhol.
Vineberg was close friends with Winehouse ... but there's no proof they did drugs together. Winehouse died of acute alcohol poisoning in 2011 after years of abusing drugs.
As for Vineberg, he denies he sold PSH the heroin that killed him.
'Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins
Gene Simmons is an Idiot
Cobain and Winehouse are Icons
10/12/2013 9:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Gene Simmons disputing Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse's icon status is nuts ... so says Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, who tells us it doesn't matter how many albums both made.
In case you missed it, Gene told Team Rock Radio this month that Cobain and Winehouse were only considered icons because they died young ... not because of their music.
But Hawkins -- whose been in Foo with Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl for years -- was fired up about the topic ... telling TMZ Gene's opinion is "nonsense."
So we gotta ask ...
New Questions Surrounding Singer's Death
12/17/2012 6:23 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Amy Winehouse may not have died from alcohol poisoning ... this according to London officials who are launching a new inquest into the singer's death next month.
Authorities say ... the coroner who oversaw the autopsy when Winehouse died back in July 2011 did NOT have the proper prerequisites when she concluded the singer died from accidental alcohol poisoning.
According to local reports, Assistant Deputy Suzanne Greenaway had been appointed to the job by her husband in 2009 -- despite the fact she did not have the required 5 years experience with the London Law Society.
FYI -- Greenaway's husband just resigned from his role as the coroner for inner north London earlier this month in the wake of the scandal.
Winehouse's family says they are NOT behind the push for a new investigation.
Drugs Should Be Legal After
Whitney, Michael & Amy's Deaths
2/12/2012 6:19 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Speaking just hours after the passing of Whitney Houston, legendary singer Tony Bennett said he feels with the rash of celebrity deaths recently ... it's time to legalize drugs.
Bennett performed at the Beverly Hilton last night Clive Davis' pre-Grammy party, in an evening dedicated to Houston. Bennett told the crowd, "First it was Michael Jackson, then Amy Winehouse, now the magnificent Whitney Houston. Let's legalize drugs, like Amsterdam, it's a very sane city now."
Davis, Houston's mentor and producer, remembered her by saying, "Whitney was a beautiful person and she had a talent beyond compare. She graced this stage ... so many times. So simply put: Whitney would have wanted the music to go on."
Jennifer Hudson is scheduled to perform a tribute in Houston's honor at tonight's Grammy Awards.
Amy Winehouse Drank
Herself to Death
10/26/2011 9:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Amy Winehouse's blood alcohol level was more than 4 times the legal limit at the time of her death ... this according to the coroner who says the singer died as a direct result of over-consumption.
Coroner Suzanne Greenaway described the situation as, "Death by misadventure" ... noting that Winehouse voluntarily pounded an extraordinary amount of liquor in the hours before she died on July 23.
Winehouse -- who battled substance abuse issues for years -- was 27 years old at the time of her death.
Amy's family released a statement ... saying, "It is some relief to finally find out what happened to Amy. We understand there was alcohol in her system when she passed away, it is likely a build up of alcohol in her system over a number of days."
The statement continues, "The court heard that Amy was battling hard to conquer her problems with alcohol and it is a source of great pain to us that she could not win in time. She had started drinking again that week after a period of abstinence."
"It underlines how important our work with the Amy Winehouse Foundation is to us, to help as many young people and children as we can in her name."
"It means a lot to us and from the overwhelming messages of support we have had since Amy died, we know she meant a great deal to people all over the world. We want to thank everyone for that and for their continuing enthusiasm for the Foundation."
Amy Winehouse's Dad
Ex-Husband Put Singer
On Path of Self-Destruction
9/13/2011 12:27 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Amy Winehouse's father claims her ex-husband laid the groundwork for the singer's ultimate demise -- insisting it was Blake Fielder-Civil who first introduced her to hard drugs, like heroin.
Mitch Winehouse doesn't blame Amy's death on Blake -- who's currently serving time for a burglary and firearm offense -- but in an interview with Anderson Cooper, Mitch was pretty adamant ... if it weren't for BFC, Amy's life would NOT have spiraled out of control the way it did.
Amy Winehouse's Dad
Rx Drug In Her System
When She Died
9/9/2011 4:07 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Amy Winehouse's father claims there was one drug found in the singer's system when she died -- but he insists ... Amy had a prescription for it.
In an interview on Anderson Cooper's new talk show -- which airs Monday -- Mitch Winehouse admits Amy was taking a drug called Librium, which he describes as a drug for detoxing alcoholics.
According to Mitch, she had a prescription for it -- to help prevent seizures -- and she took one dose daily.
Unfortunately, Mitch says it didn't work like it was supposed to -- telling Anderson, he believes Amy died from an alcohol detox seizure ... and "there was nobody there to rescue her."
Mitch still insists there were ZERO illegal drugs in his daughter's system at the time of her death -- adding, "We really felt we were out of the woods. We saw the light at the end of the tunnel."
The Prescription Omission
8/23/2011 10:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Amy Winehouse's family claims no illegal drugs were present in the singer's system at the time of death ... but there's a gaping hole, because they made no mention of prescription drugs.
A source close to the family would not comment on any prescription drugs, even though he and the rest of the family were categorical on illegal drugs.
The family says they have seen toxicology reports which discount illegal drugs. The family did acknowledge Amy had been drinking at the time of her death.
As for prescription drugs, there are a number that contain the opiates similar to heroin, including OxyContin and morphine.
Amy Winehouse's Family:
Singer Was NOT On Drugs
When She Died
8/23/2011 7:29 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Amy Winehouse's family claims toxicology tests prove Amy was not on any sort of illegal drugs at the time of her death ... but she had been drinking.
According to the family, officials have not determined if the booze played a role in the singer's death.
The family did not mention if prescription drugs were detected in the toxicology report.
The statement comes as a shock to just about everyone on the planet ... since Amy struggled with a MAJOR substance abuse problem for years.
TMZ spoke with a rep from Scotland Yard ... who told us the law enforcement agency has not yet received a copy of the toxicology results from the coroner.
Winehouse died in her London apartment on July 23.
7:43 AM: A rep for the family released a statement saying, "Toxicology results returned to the Winehouse family by authorities have confirmed that there were no illegal substances in Amy's system at the time of her death."
The statement continues, "Results indicate that alcohol was present but it cannot be determined as yet if it played a role in her death."
"The family would like to thank the police and coroner for their continuing thorough investigations and for keeping them informed throughout the process. They await the outcome of the inquest in October."
Report: Items STOLEN
From Singer's Home
8/11/2011 4:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Some heartless bastard went into Amy Winehouse's U.K. home and stole some of the singer's most personal belongings in the days following her death ... this according to British media.
Amy's father is reportedly furious -- claiming someone entered the home and swiped unreleased music, lyric books and letters belonging to Winehouse,
According to The Sun, only two lyric books have been reported to police ... but Amy's people are concerned about other items that seem to have gone missing too ... including guitars and lyrics penned for her third album.
THE AMY WINEHOUSE TRIBUTE
8/4/2011 8:10 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Coldplay honored the memory of Amy Winehouse with a moving rendition of "Rehab" during their show at the Samsung AT&T Summer Krush concert -- while a TON of stars watched in the crowd.
Lindsay Lohan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Channing Tatum, Kate Bosworth and Heidi Klum were all at UCLA to check out the show.
So to summarize -- Coldplay played "Rehab" in front of Lindsay Lohan ... who once went to rehab at UCLA.
Amy Was NOT Going to Adopt
8/1/2011 6:55 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Amy Winehouse was absolutely NOT going to adopt a 10-year-old girl from the island of St. Lucia ... despite U.K. reports to the contrary ... Amy's rep tells TMZ.
The Sunday Mirror reported Dannika Augustine and her grandmother both confirmed that Amy was about to begin the adoption process ... and both of Dannika's parents had signed off on the plan.
But Amy's rep tells TMZ ... "It's not true" ... adding, "I think [Amy] might have met her in St. Lucia, but she was in no way about to adopt her."
IN THE PROCESS OF ADOPTING
A GIRL BEFORE DEATH
7/31/2011 7:16 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Amy Winehouse was preparing to adopt a 10-year-old girl from the island of St. Lucia, the girl and her grandmother told a British paper today.
The girl -- Dannika Augustine (seen above with Amy) -- says she met the singer during one of Amy's visits to the island over the past few years. She says she was living in poverty with her single mom when Amy took an interest in her.
Dannika tells The Sunday Mirror, "Amy was already my mother. I would call her mum and she would call me her daughter. She took care of me and we had fun together. I loved her and she loved me ... She was the most amazing person and I was looking forward to living with her here or in London. I cannot believe she is gone. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me."
Dannika's grandmother Marjorie says she spoke to Amy a few weeks ago and that Amy planned to return to St. Lucia next month. She told the paper, "Amy wanted to have a child so bad. If she had not died, there is no doubt she would be here in St Lucia completing the adoption process. There is no way she would have done what she did to herself if Dannika was with her."
Both of Dannika's parents had signed off on the adoption.