"You discover music the most when it's music that no one tells you to listen to, that you find out for yourself."
-Amy Winehouse, 1983-2011
Amy Jade Winehouse was an English singer-songwriter from North London best known for the her powerful contralto voice and her eclectic mix of R&B, Jazz and soul. Winehouse's interest in music began at age 13 when she first picked up her brother's guitar and played around with it. The next year, she began singing with a local band, The Bolsha Band, before she was picked up by Island/Universal Records when an agent overheard one of her songs.
On October 3rd, 2003 Amy Winehouse released her debut album Frank, in which Winehouse wrote every song garnering her comparisons to noted musicians Sarah Vaughan and Macy Gray. In 2004, Winehouse was nominated for several BRIT awards: British Female Solo Artist and British Urban Act. With help from British artist Mark Ronson, Winehouse's second album Back To Black was released in March, 2007 featuring hit singles "Rehab," "You Know I'm No Good," and "Wake Up Alone." Back To Black was released the previous year in the UK, and before its release in the U.S., had managed to make number one on the UK Albums chart. During her career, Amy Winehouse recieved a total of 23 awards and 58 nominations.
After growing international success, in 2008, Winehouse won five grammys: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for the single "Rehab", while her album Back to Black won the Best Pop Vocal Album award. Winehouse also won a Grammy in the Best New Artist category. This earned her an entry in the 2009 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records for "Most Grammy Awards won by a British Female Act." Later that year, a second special deluxe edition of the album was released and climbed to number 2 on the Billboard charts.
"I cheated myself, Like I knew I would I told you I was trouble,You know that I'm no good."
-Amy Winehouse (You Know I'm No Good)
Back To Black, 2007
It is widely known that Adele credits Amy Winehouse for her easy entrance into the musical field of the United States. Other musicians that credit Winehouse for the easy transition into the US include: Duffy, Lily Allen, VV Brown, Florence and the Machine, La Roux and Little Boots. In 2010, Jay Z was quoted as crediting Winehouse for the revitalization of British musical influence in the United States. Kieth Caulfield, chart manager for Billboard, stated that Winehouse has now paved the way for the newest acts Eliza Doolittle, Rumer and Ellie Goulding.
Amy Winehouse's battle with substance abuse has been a widespread topic amongst her fans and the media. She openly admitted to having problems with self harm, depression and eating disorders. In 2007, Winehouse cancelled a series of European shows due to ill health and exhaustion. During this time, she was admitted into a hospital for an overdose of heroin, cocaine, ecstacy, ketamine and alcohol.
There have been many public mishaps for Amy while she has been under the influence, including the infamous crack-cocaine video, in which she appears to be under the influence. Finally, in May of 2010, Amy herself stated that she had been "drug free for three years."
On July 22nd, 2011, Amy Winehouse was reported dead by Camden Police, cause of death is still unknown. With her death, Amy Winehouse has become the latest member to join the 27 club: a phenomenon of notable musicians who died at the age of 27. Other members include Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain and Jim Morrison.
"I literally woke up one day and was like, 'I don’t want to do this any more.'”
Amy Winehouse was one of the most talented artists that I have ever heard. She had an incredible ability to create entire albums of songs in which each and every song was good and relatable. There will never be another artist able to sing like Amy and there will never be a replacement. As her fans, it is our responsiblity to remember her as the amazing artist she was, not as the Amy Winehouse the tabloids created. Rest In Peace Amy, you will never be forgotten and your legacy will live on in your records and your fans.
Listen to: Love Is A Losing Game, You Know I'm No Good, Valerie, You Sent Me Flying, Fuck Me Pumps.