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Alison Schwartz and Marisa Laudadio
July 26, 2011 12:45 PM

After saying goodbye at her funeral, Amy Winehouse‘s father took comfort in believing she had conquered most of her demons.

“Knowing she wasn’t depressed, knowing she passed away, knowing she passed away happy – it makes us all feel better,” Mitch Winehouse said Tuesday in a statement. “She was the happiest she has been for years.”

Winehouse describes his daughter, who was found dead at 27 in her London apartment Saturday, as in love, over drugs and “in good spirits.”

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Last summer, she first stepped out with boyfriend Reg Traviss, who “helped her with her problems,” Winehouse says. “Amy was looking forward to their future together.”

Winehouse says the Grammy winner had “overcome her drug dependency” three years ago, a feat doctors called impossible.

Although she was still struggling with her drinking problem, he says she had just completed three weeks alcohol-free and was in the midst of a “fantastic recovery.”

“We spoke three times a day, at least,” he says.

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The night the soulful singer, known for her signature beehive and velvety vocals, died, he says, she showed no sign of depression. “She was in her room, playing drums and singing,” he says. “As it was late, her security guard said to keep it quiet, and she did.”

The security guard found her dead in her bed the next day.

But Winehouse is trying to turn the tragedy into something positive. He says he’s setting up the Amy Winehouse Foundation as “something to help the things she loved – children, horses – but also to help those struggling with substance abuse.”

“Amy was the greatest daughter, family member and friend you could ever have,” he says.

The late singer’s autopsy has not established a cause of death, and results are expected in two to four weeks after further toxicology tests are performed.

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