She was a British soul singer and songwriter who was one of the great figures in the recent history of the genre.
Amy Winehouse Biography
Her parents, Mitch and Janis, were a lower-middle class couple who were fond of soul and jazz.
Very soon they discovered that they had no authority to temper their daughter’s demonic character, a rebellious girl who demanded constant attention. The only person who seemed to have any ascendancy over the girl was her paternal grandmother, Cynthia, a charismatic woman with whom trumpeter Ronnie Scott had a crush for years.
From the suburb of Southgate, Amy moved to East Finchley when her parents divorced amicably in 1993.
On the recommendation of Grandma Cynthia, known as Nan, Amy enrolled at Susi Earnshaw’s Drama School in Barnet.
Despite the fact that her body expression was good for her, and that she predicted her future as a dancer, in Amy’s head there was only one obsession: to succeed as a singer.
Already at the age of ten, she tried forming a rap duo in the style of Salt’n’Pepa, of which she later would not feel exactly proud. In 1995 she enrolled in Sylvia Young’s drama school, from which she was expelled the following year for getting her nose pierced.
However, Amy’s stubbornness made her an intuitive singer who gained experience on stage as a vocalist with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra.
At the age of sixteen, her boyfriend at the time, fellow singer Tyler James, sent manager Nick Godwyn a model of the young promise.
Godwyn invited her to audition, and as soon as he saw her he knew she had gold on her hands. “She was amazing. She knew old school and hip-hop well. She was plump, she had strength and a unique style.”
A style that she, it should be added, she knew how to adorn with her slum cockney accent of hers, striking tattoos and a provocative way of moving in front of the public.
Amy Winehouse Career
Under the tutelage of her new manager, Amy Winehouse traveled to Miami to meet producer Salaam Remi, a rhythm and blues authority who had worked with the Fugees and Lisa Lopes, among others.
She was immediately signed by the Island label and invited by Remi to record in his studio. Amy’s talent allowed him to finish her debut in record time, since she almost never went out of tune and kept the beats precisely, so it wasn’t necessary to do many takes for each song.
Frank (named after Frank Sinatra ) was Winehouse’s first album. Appeared in 2003, it had a remarkable success: platinum disc, was nominated for the Mercury Music Awards and won an Ivor Novello Award in 2004 thanks to the single Stronger than me.
With the money raised, the first thing he did was buy a flat in the neighborhood he liked the most, Camden. What could a twenty-year-old girl do, with financial resources, an incipient propensity for excess, and a house of her own in one of the most bohemian neighborhoods in the City?
At the moment, she maintained a suspicious simultaneity between her old boyfriend Tyler de ella, a close friend with a brittle personality named Chris, and another obscure partying buddy who would soon become the love of her life: Blake Fielder-Civil.
Many say that it was Pete Doherty, singer of The Libertines and partner of Kate Moss, who acted as the young woman’s nefarious cicerone through the most dangerous places in Camden.
In those years Amy had free access to drugs and alcohol. She shared a flat with her first boyfriend, but she was taking over a growing fascination with the troublesome Blake, with whom she began an affair. “I need to have problems to feel my creative force,” Amy said about it.
Alternating bouts of anorexia and bulimia, drinking every night and going out non-stop, Amy seemed to feed off her own misery to get by. While still her manager, Nick Godwyn alerted the singer’s parents to the danger she was running from her if he didn’t get her away from her messy way of life. Amy’s response was a violent refusal to be helped.
In 2006 she returned to the studios with a very different appearance from that of three years before: six sizes smaller and a visibly emaciated face. Paradoxically, her talent and her charisma seemed to have grown.
All the demons that boiled inside the artist had an outlet in some darker lyrics than those of the previous album.
Back to black , produced by Mark Ronson and triple platinum disc a few weeks after its appearance, agreed with the harshest critics and the general public.
Wrapped in an overwhelming production of a retro character intelligently brought up to date, Amy reeled off ten songs composed by herself on her best album.
On the album, bombardments of tremendous rhythmic power ( Rehab or You know I’m no good ) alternate with subtle Motown ballads (such as Me and Mr. Jones ).
In the lyrics he reflected his cynical vision of affective relationships and his particular immersion in the underworld of drugs and alcoholism.
Thus, in her single Rehab she made it very clear that it was not going to be easy to lead her down the path of temperance: “They try to get me to go to rehab [rehabilitation] / but I say «no, no, no»”.
Or also: “Well I know I’m going to lose my boy, / so I always have a bottle close by”. It was not the best example for the millions of teenagers who were soon going to consume her music.
What could have been an excellent year for redemption was not. The death of his beloved grandmother was a sinister omen. Although a new tattoo that read “Blake” adorned her chest, Alex Claire occupied the singer’s heart for nine months. In addition, the success of Back to black was a double-edged sword.
Amy, who until then could keep her excesses with relative discretion, overnight became a hyperpopular face whose progressive degradation was constantly portrayed by the paparazzi.
She thus began her dramatic history of cancellations and rudeness. In January 2007, she appeared completely drunk on stage at the GAY Part and threw up after the first song.
The year 2008 seemed to start well for Amy. The Grammy ceremony was a new triumphal walk for the Londoner, who, however, could not attend the gala live because she was denied her visa.
Amy took home five of the six awards she was up for: Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Female Vocal Performance, Best New Artist, Song of the Year ( Rehab ), and Best Album.
But in July she had to be admitted to a hospital, it was said that she was due to pulmonary emphysema, a disease that would end the career of any singer.
Although her father denied such news, the photographs taken by journalists at the exit of the center showed a completely wizened Amy.
At the summer concerts of the traveling show Rock In Rio, the public was able to see a dramatically diminished Amy in her vocal faculties.
Static on stage, out of tune and with a lost look (when not completely drunk, as happened in the Portuguese scale), she completed his annual commitments as best she could, after canceling concerts for which his agency had to pay large amounts of compensation.
With just turned twenty-five, it was said that the British was immersed in the composition of what would be her third album.
In the interviews, she claimed to feel excited about the upcoming release of her husband, with whom she hoped to “have five children.”
Amy Winehouse Tragic Death
Already in 2011, a month before her death, she appeared completely drugged at a concert in Belgrade, starring in an embarrassing show that forced the rest of the performances to be cancelled.
On July 23, 2011, she was found dead in her apartment in the London neighborhood of Camden. She was 27 years old.
Amy Winehouse Net Worth
Her career only lasted nine years. During that short time, she earned an impressive $4.6 million dollars. Her parents inherited everything.
Winehouse had no will, so by law his estate passed to his closest relatives.
Amy Winehouse Personal Life
Amy Winehouse has dated a few people in her lifetime. They include British singer-songwriter Alex Clare (in 2006), English actor Josh Bowman (in 2009), and British film director Reg Traviss (from 2010 until her death in 2011).
However, her most famous relationship was with Blake Fielder-Civil, a former production assistant and school dropout. They met at a bar in 2005 and dated on and off before getting married in 2007.
It was a toxic relationship as Fielder-Civil was a drug user and criminal. She served time in prison for various crimes and has admitted to being the person who introduced Winehouse to cocaine and heroin.
The couple also fell out, once being photographed on the streets of London looking bloodied and bruised. Fielder-Civil filed for divorce in January 2009 citing adultery. It was completed in July 2009.