Amy Winehouse (1983-2011)
On Saturday 23rd July the musical world lost a true star when Amy Winehouse was found dead at her Camden home at the tender age of just 27.
It is a much publicized fact that Amy was suffering from both alcohol and drug addiction and although it was feared by doctors, fans and her family alike- with doting father Mitch filming a documentary about his daughter’s demons, entitled Saving Amy just last year. However, it is safe to say that no-one was prepared for what the 23rd July would bring.
It says something about the kind of artist that Amy was when social networks were bombarded with tributes to Amy immediately following her death with stars such as; Rihanna, Katy Perry, Demi Moore and Tony Bennett paying their respects.
Amy rose to fame in 2003, receiving critical acclaim for her Mercury-nominated, debut offering; Frank, which went triple platinum.
It was her 2006 follow-up that would make Amy, a worldwide star, however. Working with producer Mark Ronson (who took to Twitter earlier this week to pay tribute to the women he called ‘his musical soulmate’) on the exceptional Back to Black.
Inspired by her turbulent relationship with ex-husband Blake, Back to Blackcaptured the heavily-Jazz/Blues influenced childhood that Amy had, whilst modernizing the sound for a contemporary audience. Amy was able to speak to people with her music which is evident through the national grievance for the star- taking some dark themes and turning them into incredibly soulful, often upbeat, music.
The album that won her awards worldwide, including a prestigious Ivor Novello, also lead to her downfall with the star becoming addicted to heroin and her alcohol addiction increasing. The Amy that many knew and loved was ultimately lost at this point and it was a painful addiction that Amy was to never overcome. Sadly, it had to be one that played out in the public eye, with painful to watch performances such as her last live performance in Belgrave.
There was talk of a third overdue album from the star but it is questionable whether Amy’s heart was ever truly in it due her demons. This sadly leaves a true musical legend with an back catalogue of just 2 albums.
However- the quality of those two albums, for me, leaves Amy Winehouse an artist that has gone but that will never be forgotten.
May she finally rest in peace.