Chaka Khan told Amy Winehouse to “get real” before her untimely passing.

Amy was five times the UK drinking and driving alcohol limit when she died at her home last July, aged just 27. Amy had a much-publicised battle with drinks and drugs throughout her short life, and Chaka has struggled with her own drug demons.

The star has overcome her substance abuse issues and has recalled trying to help Amy before she descended into further despair.

“When I first met her, we hugged like we knew each other all of our lives. I loved her, I really loved her. She sat on my lap, like a little girl. I’m saying, ‘Give me your contact numbers Amy because we are going to stay in touch.’ But I knew when I saw Amy that she wasn’t long for this world. You know when you get that feeling? I had that,” she told the UK edition of OK! magazine. “She was so young and so rebellious.

“I said, ‘Look, we need to get real here Amy. And I am here for you. If you need somebody to talk to, you call me.’”

Chaka says Amy reminded her of her younger self.

“She reminded me a lot of myself back in the ‘70s and she struck a chord in my heart,” she said sadly. “But she was so high, I was talking to the drugs.”