Follow TV Tropes


Music / Amy Winehouse

Go To

"I've come to the realization that life is short, you know, gotta live in the moment, you've got to seize the day."

Amy Jade Winehouse (September 14, 1983 – July 23, 2011) was an English singer-songwriter known for her deep contralto vocals and her music's eclectic mix of soul, R&B and jazz.

Winehouse's two studio albums, Frank and Back to Black, both received critical acclaim, and Back to Black won five Grammy Awards, making her 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 2000s 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.

Winehouse would go on to influence many subsequent female singers of the 2000s, 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, 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 also attempted to launch the career of her goddaughter Dionne Bromfield, whom she was also a mentor and best friend of.

Winehouse also had a myriad of personal problems, however, including alcoholism, drug 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 July 23, 2011 (the reported cause being alcohol poisoning), joining a long line of musicians that died 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 alcoholism and other drug addictions around the world.

Her story is told in the 2015 Rockumentary Amy.


  • Frank (2003)
  • Back to Black (2006)
  • Lioness: Hidden Treasures (Posthumous compilation album) (2011)

They tried to make me give up troping, but I said "no, no, no":

  • Amen break: Used in "You Know I'm No Good" from Back to Black.
  • Briefer Than They Think: Only released two albums, and only rose to international prominence with her final non-posthumous album, but opened up the door for everyone from Lady Gaga to Adele and Jessie J.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: The lyrics of "Amy Amy Amy" are four minutes of this.
  • Hammerspace Hair: In 2008, Amy was filmed taking cocaine on stage, after apparently taking the vial out of her hair. MAD once suggested in a comic-strip parody of Cathy called "Amy!" that she hid drugs in her beehive hairdo. They thought they were joking...
  • Hero-Worshipper: Was this to Ronnie Spector. Not only was Spector her biggest musical influence, but Winehouse's distinctive makeup, beehive hairdo and style of dress was all for the sake of emulating Spector's physical appearance - enough that Spector once mistook a picture of Winehouse for one of her younger self at first glance. For her part, Ronnie Spector fully approves.
  • Improbable Hairstyle: Her famous beehive just got bigger over the years. It started out normal, looked enhanced by the Back to Black video, and by the time her drug issues started to take over from the rest of her career it was just basically a ball of hair extensions as big as her head. For the last few public appearances, it looked like she'd ditched it in favour of just having it lifted out at the back a little.
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: Had a North London accent when talking, and the voice of an African-American soul singer when singing.
  • 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.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Pulled this trick a few times in 2009 and 2010 by having shows advertise a performance from her, then revealing she was playing backing singer for Dionne Bromfield, in an effort to launch her career.