One of the most influential singers of all time
Looking back at the talented Amy Winehouse on her 40th Birthday
Amy Winehouse was born Amy Jade Winehouse on September 14th, 1983 in Southgate, London, U.K, her rise to fame happened during the 2000’s after the debut album “Frank” in 2003 a blend of Jazz, Pop and R&B, but her international success only came in 2006 when she released “Back To Black” featuring the hit songs “Rehab” and “Back To Black”, it became a worldwide success and charted on #1 in several countries including the U.K, it entered at number seven on the Billboard 200. “Back To Black” was the best-selling album in the UK of 2007, selling 1.85 million copies over the course of the year. Amy Winehouse had a signature expressive contralto vocals that made her voice unique and one of the most recognizable in music overall, she also cultivated a retro 60’s look with her unique beehive and eyelashes reminiscent of 60’s girlbands specially The Ronettes, a big influence on her. Aside of singing she also composed most of her songs, “Black To Black” is almost entirely written by Winehouse only, between 2007 and 2008 she accumulated several music awards and nominations around the world, she won 5 Grammy Awards in 2008, tying the then record for the most wins by a female artist in a single night, and made her the first British woman to win five Grammys,including three of the General Field “Big Four” Grammy Awards: Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Despite all the success and being one of the most acclaimed and praised singers and artists of her generation, Amy Winehouse lived a troubled lifestyle of excess and often mental breakdowns, making her a target for tabloids and media throughout her short life and career. Amy struggled with addiction during most of her life, but finally drug and alcohol abuse lead to her early demise in 2011 at the age of only 27. Amy Winehouse was found dead in her bed on July 23, 2011 shortly before she was about to start a new tour and recording a new album. Amy Winehouse has left a considerable and valuable body of work, she was a prolific songwriter and always had projects going on despite the troubled personal life. There are still unreleased Amy’s songs to be heard and posthumous albums have been released since. Amy Winehouse was one of the most successful artists of the 21st century, a contemporary music jewel unusual in artists of her generation, the career was short and her life was cut short too soon, but her influence and legacy will live on for years to come as a strong influence on music and Pop Culture.
By Ken Warren, 2017/18
Watch the 2007 video for “Back To Black” by Amy Winehouse
Listen to some of Amy Winehouse’s greatest songs compiled by Pop Expresso on Spotify
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