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A Tribute to Amy Winehouse

Updated on March 15, 2020
Richard-H profile image

Richard is a freelance writer and blogger who enjoys all forms of entertainment, including movies, music, and television.

Amy Winehouse in 2007
Amy Winehouse in 2007 | Source

Remembering Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse, the British singing talent, passed away at the age of 27 on July 23, 2011 at her home in North London.

Plagued by her addiction to both drugs and alcohol, it perhaps comes as no surprise to some that her death reflects the demise of other rock greats before her, such as Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain at the same age.

While some commentators found humour in her addiction, let's not forget that addiction is an illness. Amy Winehouse's choices in life were influenced by this, and now a life is extinguished too soon. A tragedy.

Here, let's celebrate what Amy Winehouse brought to the world of music and mourn the loss of her talent and her unforgettable life.

Amy in 2007
Amy in 2007 | Source

Back to Black: UK Top 30 Hit From 2007

Rehab: Top 10 in 2006: UK & USA

Tears Dry On Their Own

The Talent and Torture of Amy Winehouse

It seems that performers with a tortured soul are prone to produce soul in their work. It seems Amy Winehouse was no different.

Her death has triggered memories of rock giants of the past whose torment can be heard in every note they played or sang. Amy Winehouse has now been added to a list that includes Janis Joplin and her pleading refrains, Jimi Hendrix whose guitar wept with passion, Jim Morrison's mysterious rock persona and Kurt Kobain's tortured punk blues.

Amy Winehouse's own brand of soul did not come to my attention until the success of her second (and now, final) album Back to Black. Having lived in the US for several years, I had a disconnect in following the latest up and coming artists in the UK, so her first critically acclaimed album, Frank, completely passed me by.

Back to Black, however, reflects what I have always enjoyed about good soul music. If you remember the heyday of Motown and Stax, then you will understand what I mean. Amy Winehouse manages to fuse what was best about old school soul and propel it into the 21st century. While the first album characterises her jazz influence, this one harks back to the girl groups of the 1960s and literally throws them into a contemporary setting.

That modernity includes subjects that you would be unlikely to hear on a Supremes recording, for example. Wracked by alcohol and drug binges, titles like You Know I'm No Good, Addicted, Tears Dry On Their Own, and especially Rehab, address the addiction that formed a large part of Winehouse's personality and mindset.

While this part of her life will no doubt be the subject of much tabloid copy, if you strip away the addictive persona, you are simply left with the sound of a vulnerable and fragile voice; a passionate voice with soul that did not require the enhancements of modern technology.

She was able to perform without all of that and this is for what Amy Winehouse should be remembered. RIP.

Amy Whitehouse on Stage

Back to Black: The Album: A Grammy Winning Disc

Amy Winehouse's second and final album evokes the soul music sounds from the past and places them in a modern setting.

Back to Black would go on to win five Grammys at the 50th awards ceremony. By doing so, she equaled a record for gathering the second most awards by a female.

The album would top the music charts worldwide and spawn several successful single releases.

She was the closest thing we ever had to Billie Holiday, she was a true soulful talent...

Amy Winehouse With Mark Ronson: Their Cover of Valerie

Amy Winehouse: Frank

Frank was the debut album from Amy Winehouse.

Awarded the Ivor Novello Award, it was released in 2003 and became a mainstay in the UK music chart following the phenomenal success of Back to Black.

Described as a fusion of neo-soul, jazz and funk, it has been hailed as feisty, honest, uncompromising and commercial in equal measure.

From the Album 'Frank': Take the Box

Both Lady Gaga and Adele say Amy Winehouse paved the way for them...

Amy Winehouse With Tony Bennett: Body and Soul

One of Amy Winehouse's last recordings was this duet with Tony Bennett called Body and Soul. It's taken from the album, Duets II and is also included on the posthumous compilation Lioness: Hidden Treasures.

The Song Poll

What is your favourite Amy Winehouse song from this list?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Richard


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