AMY Winehouse has blamed her emphysema on years of working as a coal miner in South Wales, her father Mitch revealed last night.
The soul singer started down pit, aged 14, and was swiftly moved to the coal face and given her own giant cutting machine.
She developed her distinctive voice entertaining fellow miners underground, despite repeated warnings that prolonged exposure to coal dust would damage her lungs.
Mr Winehouse said: "Most people think Amy’s vocal style is all about pretending to be a black woman, but she's really just a simple Welsh coal miner.
"I used to beg her not to sing so much when she was working, but she'd say to me, 'Dad, those guys have enough on their plate, what with Thatcher and all that. They need me.' She’s a special girl."
However, the industrial cause of Winehouse’s illness has not impressed rock bible NME, where medical correspondent Julian Cook branded the singer’s emphysema the most uncool disease since Marc Bolan's 1974 bout of shingles.
"Too many brave musicians have drank themselves to death or succumbed to heroically cool levels of heroin for Amy Winehouse to cry off sick with a bit of a cough."
He added: "This is nothing more than an old Welshman’s lung disease. If she wants to mess around with coal dust she better start boiling it in a spoon."