Women in Music: Amy Winehouse
It’s no doubt that Amy Winehouse was an artist gone way too soon. Her talent, passion, and unique voice filled the ears and hearts of billions of people and she paved the way for so many female artists. In this article we learn about her history in music and her constant battle with addiction.
The following content has been aggregated from: thisdayinmusic.com
On 23rd July 2011, Amy Winehouse was found dead at her north London home, she was 27. A Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed that a 27-year-old woman had died in Camden and that the cause of death was as yet unexplained. London Ambulance Service said it had been called to the flat at 1554 BST and sent two vehicles but the woman died. The troubled singer had a long battle with drink and drugs, which overshadowed her recent musical career.
15 facts about Amy.
Winehouse’s 2003 debut album, Frank, was critically successful in the UK and was nominated for the Mercury Prize.
Her 2006 follow-up album, Back to Black, led to six Grammy Award nominations and five wins, tying the then record for the most wins by a female artist in a single night, and made Winehouse the first British female to win five Grammys, including three of the “Big Four”: Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
Her father, Mitchell “Mitch” Winehouse, was a taxi driver, her mother, Janis Winehouse, a pharmacist. Her grandmother, Cynthia, was a singer.
She attended the Earnshaw school for four years and founded a short-lived rap group called Sweet ‘n’ Sour with Juliette Ashby, her childhood friend.
Winehouse received her first guitar when she was 13 and began writing music a year later.
Winehouse’s greatest love was 1960s girl groups. Her stylist, Alex Foden, borrowed her “instantly recognisable” beehive hairdo and she borrowed her Cleopatra makeup from The Ronettes.
In 2007 she won a Brit Award for Best British Female Artist; she had also been nominated for Best British Album. She won the Ivor Novello Award three times: once in 2004 for Best Contemporary Song (musically and lyrically) for “Stronger Than Me”, once in 2007 for Best Contemporary Song for “Rehab”, and once in 2008 for Best Song Musically and Lyrically for “Love Is a Losing Game”.
Her album Back to Black subsequently became the UK’s best selling album of the 21st century. The album spawned a number of singles, the first single released from the album was the Mark Ronson-produced “Rehab”. The song reached the top ten in the UK and the US.
Both Adele and Lady Gaga credited Winehouse with paving the way for them to rise to the top of the charts.
Throughout her life, Winehouse donated her money, music and time to many charities, particularly children’s charities. She was even once named “the most charitable act” by Pop World.
Her favorite artists included Nas, Mos Def, Teena Marie, Beastie Boys, Carol King, Mahalia Jackson and Thelonious Monk.
In her song Rehab, she mentions the names Ray and Mr. Hathaway. These are references to the soul singers Ray Charles and Donny Hathaway.
Winehouse’s last recording was a duet with American singer Tony Bennett for his latest album, Duets II, which was released in September 2011. Their single from the album, “Body and Soul.”
In 2008 Bryan Adams wrote a song for Amy Winehouse in a bid to help her overcome her drug habit. The song titled Flower Grown Wild is about the dangers of drug-taking.
Sadly when she died, Winehouse became a member of The 27 Club, which also included the deaths of other prominent musicians who all died age 27, such as Robert Johnson, Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and Kurt Cobain.
On 14 September 2014 (which would have been Winehouse’s 31st birthday), a statue was unveiled of her, which was created by sculptor Scott Eaton, at Stables Market in Camden Town, north London. Fans and relatives gathered for the unveiling in Camden’s Stable Market, where it will be a permanent memorial to her.
In 2015 the British documentary film Amy directed by Asif Kapadia was released. The film depicts Winehouse’s life largely from the standpoint of her struggle with substance abuse problems both before and after her career began to blossom, and which eventually caused her premature death.