Pop-Culture | Posted by Emma E on 07/31/2011

Support Women Artists Sunday: Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse

How is it that you never really appreciate someone until they’re gone?

When Michael Jackson died, I heard a lot of his music via the radio, and I thought, “We lost such a great talent. I can’t believe I never listened to his music before.” Now Amy Winehouse is dead, and I’m suddenly looking past all her troubles and seeing her soaring voice and strong spirit instead. So, in honor of a woman whose death was tragic and untimely, here’s a biography of Amy Winehouse.

Amy Winehouse was born in Southgate, North London, to Jewish parents. She had a brother, Alex. She would constantly sing in class, much to the annoyance of her teachers. When she was nine, her grandmother suggested that she attend theater school. At ten, she joined a short-lived rap group. When she was thirteen, she was given a guitar and began writing music. In 2002, she obtained a record deal. A year later, her debut album, a jazz album titled Frank, was released to positive reviews. For that album, she was nominated in the BRIT Awards for ‘British Female Solo Artist’ and ‘British Urban Act’.

However, Winehouse rose to international fame with her second album, Back to Black, a more collection of more melancholy, reflective tunes, including her sassy hit single, ‘Rehab’, which was named by Time Magazine as the ‘Best Song of 2007’.
She swept the 2008 Grammies, earning Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for ‘Rehab’, was nominated for Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for Back to Black. Two DVDs, one in 2007 and one in 2008, were released on Winehouse’s life.

Winehouse said that she would release another album in January 2011, but ultimately failed to produce a record. Then, on July 23, 2011, Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London apartment.

Amy Winehouse had a huge influence on the music industry. Singers Adele and Lady Gaga both credit Winehouse for paving the way for female pop singers to have success in the mainstream pop industry. Sebastian Danchin, author of Encyclopedia of Rhythm & Blues and Soul, explained that what he calls the ‘Winehouse Phenomenon’ that helped revitalize soul.

So Amy Winehouse’s legacy lives on. Still, she’s gone too soon, and I’d like to pay tribute to a strong, talented woman and a fabulous singer. RIP Amy Winehouse, a woman with an amazing voice and a tragic story.



Amy Winehouse on iTunes: Amy Winehouse

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  • Ashley @ at 2:19 pm, July 31st, 2011

    It seems like everyone used to dismiss her as some ridiculous druggie and that’s it, including myself. I never really payed much attention her when she was alive.

  • O'Phylia @ at 9:28 pm, July 31st, 2011

    Ashley, I hate it when people did that.
    People completely looked over a genuine talent just because of her issues, but they’ll let people like Taylor Swift slide just because she’s a good, stupid role model.
    So I will outwardly say, shame on anyone who made fun of her for her problems, and didn’t listen to that amazing voice. I hope you feel bad.
    There. I said it.

  • Julie Z @ at 12:22 pm, August 1st, 2011

    Yeah, I was surprised by how right after the news of her death broke my entire newsfeed was full of jokes about how she “should have gone to rehab but she said no, no, no.” *sigh*

  • Emma @ at 2:39 pm, August 1st, 2011

    Julie: I can’t decide which is worse–The people who made jokes about her, or MY Facebook friends, who completely ignored her death–even the most music-obsessed ones. :(

  • Omany @ at 6:05 am, August 4th, 2011

    Ashley is spot on she is such a bad role model for today’s society for all women. Taylor swift is a good role model and that’s what matters in the end she has a great career ahead of her if she sticks to her values.

    If the country was full of little girls acting like Amy whinehouse everyone would suffer and society would die out even her choice in men was awful.

    She is anything but strong she was a messed up drug addict who could sing and got used by everyone around her including her men, agents etc for her musical abilities hardly the definition of a strong woman.

    She was a spoiled brat who wasted her talent and wasted her life, choosing a person like blake is a perfect example of being spoiled, ultimately she needed someone to not kiss her ass and agree to every little stupid thing she did instead she found someone to treat her like dirt(the other extreme).

    The fact she didn’t end up in jailed or in a mental ward permanently made it even worse, she was devoid of any reason or accountability. Pathetic really…

  • Emma E @ at 4:41 pm, August 5th, 2011


    I live near a mission, and I see people whose lives have been ruined by drugs every day. I know many people have no pity for drug addicts because, after all, they chose to use the drug, but you have to understand the addictive pull of drugs. Coming from a family where alcoholism is in my genes, I understand that.

    The reason I didn’t mention Amy Winehouse’s drug problems in the article were because I felt that, in death, she deserved to have her flaws overlooked. All the things you’ve talked about: her being spoiled, wasting her talent, being needy, etc, are symptoms of the tragic epidemic that is drug addiction. Amy Winehouse was not perfect. No one is. But I believe that despite her drug problems, she deserves a little respect in death. And yes, I agree, if the country was full of girls acting like Amy Winehouse, it wouldn’t be the best place ever. Which is why we need to work to curb drug addiction.

    That’s just my thoughts, anyway. Thanks. :)

  • Omany @ at 7:47 am, August 8th, 2011

    Thank you for your reply I appreciate your points but two things firstly you said:

    “Coming from a family where alcoholism is in my genes, I understand that.”

    I’m sorry Emma but this sounds like a cop out for them. Whats family and genes got to do with it? we make our own destiny we have free will and the people who are unable to make good choices should deal with the responsibility that comes with that just like everyone else.

    You are right I have no sympathy for drug users alcoholics, people like that deserve no attention from me whatsoever. It seems “the pull” of drugs only comes after you have chosen that path I’m afraid, and If not then blame the people who directly or indirectly promote it like amy winehouse.

    “Amy Winehouse was not perfect. No one is.”

    Your second point above is true but neither are criminals doesn’t mean we should celebrate them, they are imperfect like everyone else yet they chose to do those crimes.

    My little sister is better off never idolizing her kind, I hope, unless she wants to end up in that missionary you live nearby.

    Honestly for me respect is earned not given even in death. She hasn’t earned my respect by simply being more talented than me and throwing it away. She didn’t even respect her fans or anybody around her or even herself. Her later performances she could barely stand.

    Again thanks for the reply Emma I totally agree we should curb drug addiction but sadly in my eyes amy winehouse was part of the problem. A wasted talent.

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