"For you I was a flame / love is a losing game."
Amy Winehouse (14 September 1983 – 23 July 2011) was a soul
/R&B/jazz singer and songwriter, active from 2000 to 2011. Her two albums, Frank
and Back to Black
, both received critical acclaim, and Back to Black
won five Grammys, making Winehouse the first ever British artist to win that many. She also won a number of other prestigious awards throughout her career, including 3 Ivor Novello awards, a Mobo award, a world music award, a Q music award, an MTV Europe Music Award and a Brit award. Both of her albums spun off several hit singles; she had 15 charted singles in total throughout her career spanning only nine years, including many covers and collaborations with artists such as Tony Bennett and Quincy Jones. Back to Black
would eventually become the best selling album of the 00's and the entire 21st century in the United Kingdom, but also enjoyed considerable mainstream success abroad, including all over Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan, and America.
Amy Winehouse would go on to influence many subsequent female singers of the 00's with the likes of Adele
, Jessie J
, Paloma Faith, Duffy, Florence Welch
, Emeli Sandé, Lana Del Rey
, and Lady Gaga
citing her as a big influence as well as a reason for their success. She is credited by many as an influence in the rise of popularity of the eccentric female singer-songwriter all over the world as well as revitalising soul music and the stagnated British music scene, and also for kicking off a third British invasion.
In the later years of her life she attempted to launch the career of her goddaughter Dionne Bromfield, whom she was also a mentor and best friend to.
She also had a myriad of personal problems, however, including drug and alcohol abuse and depression, which made her a tabloid magnet and ruined her marriage. She was working on a third album when she was found dead in her London flat
on 23 July 2011, becoming the latest in a long line of musicians to die at the age of 27.
Following her death, her father set up a charity called The Amy Winehouse Foundation in her honour, to help those affected with drug and alcohol addictions around the world.
- Frank (2003)
- Back to Black (2006)
- Lioness: Hidden Treasures (Posthumous compilation album) (2011)
Tropes related to Amy Winehouse:
- Hammerspace Hair: In 2008, Amy was filmed taking cocaine on stage, after apparently taking the vial out of her hair.
- Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Many of the same gossip sites that gleefully covered her downward spiral launched into tributes within the hour her death was announced, NME who also famously nominated Winehouse as villain of the year alongside other candidates such as Osama bin Laden, George W. Bush and Tony Blair in 2008 also released a tribute issue to her not long after her death.
- Prophetic Name: A dark case; Amy Winehouse, a singer with some serious drinking problems, who eventually died by alcohol poisoning. And whose biggest hit involves refusing to go to drug rehab.
- Short-Lived Big Impact: She was a key influence in revitalizing the stagnated British music scene, and for popularizing soul music. Dead at age 27.
- Her existence encouraged Lady Gaga to be herself when she finally released music in 2008.
- Adele also referred to Winehouse as her "role model" and said in her moving tribute to her on her website that Amy made everyone excited about British music again.
- Jessie J also dedicated her win at the Mobo awards to Winehouse and said that without her she and Adele would never have been signed.
- Shout-Out: "October Song" namechecks legendary jazz singer Sarah Vaughan in the chorus.
- Super Group: As "Truth+Soul" with Adele and Aloe Blacc for the L.A. Noire soundtrack.
- What Could Have Been: Winehouse was originally supposed to be the musical guest for a Saturday Night Live episode that aired in November 2007 with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson hosting. The episode ended up being canceled as November 2007 was when the Writers Guild of America went on strike over not receiving residuals for their programs when said programs were being put out on DVD and the Internet. Even worse, The Rock got a chance to host on SNL's 34th season, only the musical guest was Ray LaMontagne. Winehouse was never a musical guest, and now that she's dead, she never will be.