Amy Winehouse
1983-2011

Amy Winehouse was the embattled darling of neo-soul/pop. She was found dead in her North London home on July 23 after a suspected overdose. Upon the her cross-Atlantic success in the United States with her first (and self-prophesying) hit “Rehab,” Winehouse has, sadly, joined a cadre of musicians who’ve – mysteriously – died at 27.

Our memories of her are by no means a silhouette. The year 2006 feels like yesterday when the tatted, raven-haired soul singer appeared in a dingy, brick-walled room with her institutionalized band mates. “Rehab,” produced by Mark Ronson, is a lovelorn, horn-driven piece that hit hard with music lovers internationally.

Her international rise with the album “Back to Black” made way for British soul artists like Adele and Duffy. Her lyrics were unrepentant and her personal reputation followed suit with stories upon stories of mental health and drug abuse.

Winehouse’s career hit some roadblocks but her talent was a golden goose. She was already a star in the UK with her debut album “Frank” in 2003. Her vocals were compared to that of Shirley Bassey’s and Etta James.’ Her albums sold millions of units and she peaked as high as 9 on the U.S. Billboard charts.

In 2010, Winehouse formed a supergroup with ?uestlove and Raphael Saadiq. A name was never revealed. Her influence even spread to London-born teenage soulstress Dionne Bromfield. Her last performance was alongside Bromfield, her goddaugher and protégé.

Amy Jade Winehouse was a purveyor of soul music. She came from a latter generation of British musicians who revitalized the old tradition of American roots, blues and country. It’s a tragedy that someone who brought great joy with music could uproot inexplicable sorrow.

RIP Amy (September 14, 1983 – July 23, 2011)

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  • Mallory

    I’ve enjoyed this little blurb but I have to say that Amy Winehouse did not die “mysteriously.” Her death was drawn out over the last few years and was very clearly caused by sorrow and a lot of drugs and drink. Billy Bragg posted a tweet commenting on the tragedy and I think he said it best: “It’s not age that Hendrix, Jones, Joplin, Morrison, Cobain & Amy have in common – it’s drug abuse, sadly #27club”

    Although, I think he may have forgotten to mention brilliance and insurmountable talent as well.

    • http://twitter.com/dulanism Dulani Wallace

      Hi Mallory. Thanks for your post. It’s not the intention of the editors or writers — like me — to condemn Amy Winehouse. What I meant when I said her talent was a “golden goose” is she was the real deal. Her vocals are amazing. She had a stage presence, too.  I can spend a lot of time talking about drug addiction and that this death is not surprising. But my editorial values lie in celebrating the songstress — sans sugar-coating  — but not harking on her problems.

      And the mystery I mention in the first paragraph is, in more detail, the coincidence surrounding the 27 club.

      I don’t refute yous observations of her talent. She was definitely one of my favorite vocalist. We’ve lost a true talent.

      • Mallory

        Oh I didn’t interpret your words as a condemnation of her at all. And it was a fine little article!

      • Mallory

        Oh I didn’t interpret your words as a condemnation of her at all. And it was a fine little article!

        • http://twitter.com/dulanism Dulani Wallace

          Oh, good. I’m really glad you enjoyed it, Mallory.

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