In the Beginning
Amy Winehouse was born on September 14, 1983 in North London, England. She was the younger of two siblings, and she and her older brother grew up with their parents in London's Southgate area. Winehouse was born into a family of musicians, primarily jazz. Her uncles and her grandmother were all professionals in the music industry, and greatly inspired her interest in jazz and music in general. When Winehouse was 9, her parents separated. That same year, she enrolled in a local theatre school in order to further her vocal education and performance. She attended the weekend only school for several years and then enrolled in full time training at a more prestigious school for the arts. Though there are rumors that Winehouse was expelled, close friends and family says that she simply changed schools. Around that time, Winehouse bought her first guitar and began writing music.
Winehouse launched her first album n 2003, called “Frank”. The album contained mostly songs influenced by jazz, and a couple of covers. Later that year, the album topped the charts in the UK, and achieved platinum status in sales. Later in 2004, she teamed up with Salaam Remi and made the single “Stronger Than Me”, which was very well received. Album number two, “Back to Black”, launched in 2006 and was heavily influenced by 50's and 60's girl groups. The album was number one in the UK for a few weeks, and was the best selling album in 2007. The popularity climbed high as well in the United States, with the album topping out at number 7 on the Billboard 200 Charts. Rehab was her biggest single in the US on the album, and TIME Magazine named it the Best Song of 2007. She toured after the album release, and half the tour was a raging success. In November 2007, her tour screeched to a halt as she became obviously intoxicated before a few different shows. Crowds booed her for poor performance, and she ended up canceling the remainder of her performances to focus on her health. 2008 brought loads of more success, and was the year that she began winning Grammy Awards. She won four different Grammy's for “Back to Black”, and one as Best New Artist. The feat earned her a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for Most Grammy Awards won by a British Female Act. As if her album sales weren't already sky high, the Grammy Awards launched sales to new heights for Winehouse, who continued to win Awards on MTV for her music. The next couple of years held memorable performances, tributes, honors and awards dedicated to the singer who was making headlines with her success. She began recording her third album, and continued to tour. Her performances became memorable in negative ways, as she would forget the lyrics to songs, end sets mid-song, and had little to no energy for her sets. In Summer 2011, Winehouse took more time off to sort herself out. The next year, projects would be released that continued to launch Winehouse to the peak of popularity, despite tragedy, with projects recorded with Tony Bennett, and an album of unreleased materials over the years, called “Lioness: Hidden Treasures”.
Most Known For
Winehouse is most well known for her soulful and powerful voice that reinvigorated jazz and soul for a younger generation. Unfortunately, her drug and alcohol problems garnered much attention, and she became widely known as a women who struggled daily with these things, even within her music. “Back to Black” was the album that launched her to success in the US, and her single “Rehab” became a staple that represented Winehouse in a brilliant way.
Where They Are Now
Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning at her home in Camden, London on July 23, 2011. Her bodyguard noticed that she was intoxicated a few days before her death, and when he attempted to rouse her the morning of her death, he thought she was passed out. He left and came back later; realizing she was in the same position than when he left her, he called an ambulance. She was pronounced dead on the scene. The coroner's report explained that Winehouse's blood alcohol content was .416% at the time of her death. Today, memoirs, memorials, awards, tributes, and charities have been opened and created in honor of Winehouse.