Amy Winehouse R.I.PJuly 25, 2011
Amy Winehouse, the chanteuse of Camden is dead. The singer/songwriter who hit gold with her album Back To Black, which brought us such classics as Rehab, I Told You I’m No Good and the titular song, was found in her Camden home on Saturday at around 4pm, UK time. She was 27. It was a moment many expected, but hoped would never come. The car crash, when it finally came, was fatal.
Amy grew up listening to the jazz records of her taxi-driving father, Mitch, in Southgate, North London, where she was born. The performance bug was caught early by the young Winehouse and from the age of eight, she attended three stage schools (and managed to be expelled from one of them for her “lack of application”). She co-wrote the jazz/R&B/soul infused first album Frank, which was released in 2003. The 60s Motown influenced Back To Black was released in 2006, the songs fuelled by the break up of her relationship with Blake Fielder-Civil. They got back together in 2007 and were married very quickly. From that moment on, Amy became tabloid fodder as they both spiralled into that familiar rock n’ roll abyss of drink and drugs. Mitch, who later became a successful singer in his own right, was the public face and voice of the family, expressing emotions from despair to exasperation. But the biggest emotion was always unconditional love.
Blake went to jail in 2008 for grievous bodily harm with intent and perverting the cause of justice by trying to pay off the pub landlord he assaulted. Amy divorced him in 2009. In that same year, she spent time in St. Lucia to ‘sort herself out’ and write her third album. There was hope that she had beaten her demons. But it was not to be. The album was still unfinished and last month, she cancelled her European tour after she was booed off stage in Belgrade for a shockingly bad performance, thanks to her old frenemies: drink and drugs. She was onstage, but not singing, at the Camden roundhouse on the Wednesday before she died, in support of the fledgling career of her Goddaughter, Dionne Bromfield.
She may had only produced two albums, but they made the kind of impact, especially Back To Black, that some bands 10 albums down the line could only dream of. There could’ve been more, if only she’d found the strength to pull herself out of that terrible hole.
I think in this case, you can only hope that Amy Winehouse really will rest in peace.