Amy Winehouse's father has opened up about the harrowing flight he made from New York to London after hearing of his daughter's death, insisting he convinced himself the tragic news was a sick joke.
Mitch Winehouse was in the Big Apple preparing to perform a gig of his own when a sad call came through from the Rehab star's weeping bodyguard.
Winehouse rushed home on the next plane to the U.K., and he admits he tried to talk himself into believing his beloved daughter had set up an elaborate prank rather than accept she had passed away.
He tells Britain's The Sun, "I was in New York when I found out. I was at my cousin's, cuddling his newborn babies.
"He had just been asking me how Amy was. I said she was fine - then my phone rang. It was Andrew, her security guard, in tears. He said something terrible had happened. Amy had died. I couldn't understand him at first. I was like ice. I was cool as a cucumber.
"I told him to tell me again. I was still holding the baby when he repeated what he had just said. I was in a terrible state of shock. I was just sitting there.
"The flight home was horrendous. In my mind, I was saying, 'Stop messing about, Amy'. She was a practical joker and I just hoped everyone had it wrong - even though I knew it was right.
"The joke had gone too far. It was horrible. I couldn't cry. I wasn't able to do anything. I was just numb."
Winehouse passed away in July (11). A full inquest into the cause of her death will begin next month (Oct11).