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Lily Allen’s mother feared pop star would ‘end up like Amy Winehouse’

Lily Allen’s mother Alison Owen, has revealed that she feared her daughter would end up like Amy Winehouse as she battled a series of personal issues while under the glare of the media.

Winehouse and Allen were contemporaries during the early Noughties and were often nominated for the same awards until the “Rehab” singer’s death, aged 27, in 2011.

Owen, who is a producer on the forthcoming Winehouse biopic, Back to Black, said she was afraid the publicity would “destroy” her daughter, who rose to fame with hit singles including “Smile” and “Not Fair”.

“I think it absolutely was a possibility that the tabloid press would destroy my daughter like they had a hand in doing with Amy,” the 63-year-old told The Times.

“Lily fitted the bill because, early in her success, her role model was her dad [Robin Hood actor Keith Allen]. She’d seen him idolised for swearing, taking drugs and being drunk in the Groucho Club, so in her young brain she thought that’s what you did when you became famous.”

Both Allen and Winehouse also struggled with similar personal issues including bulimia, addiction, highly scrutinised relationships and suicide attempts.

Owen said she believed that Allen and Winehouse’s gender affected media coverage of their behaviour: “[Allen] didn’t realise it’s only OK for men; women get punished for it,” she said.

“These thugs with cameras would wait for her and then say things like, ‘I see your single’s going down the charts,’ or, ‘You’ve put on weight, Lily,’ and hope to make her angry or cry.”

Allen’s mother has said she ‘fitted the bill’ (Getty Images)
Allen’s mother has said she ‘fitted the bill’ (Getty Images)

The producer believes Allen, now 38, could have easily followed in the “Back to Black” singer’s footsteps but says “Lily was lucky”, adding, “She’s happy bringing up her children.”

Allen recently sparked debate by sharing the candid view that having children “totally ruined” her music career.

“My children ruined my career,” she told Radio Times Podcast host Kelly-Anne Taylor and fellow guest presenter Miquita Oliver. “I love them and they complete me, but in terms of pop stardom, they totally ruined it.”

Allen has two daughters with her ex-husband Sam Cooper: Ethel Mary, born in 2011, and Marnie Rose, born in 2013.

“I get really annoyed when people say you can have it all because, quite frankly, you can’t,” she said.

Back to Black will be released in cinemas on 12 April.

If you have been affected by this article, you can contact the following organisations for support: actiononaddiction.org.uk, mind.org.uk, nhs.uk/livewell/mentalhealth, mentalhealth.org.uk.