AMY WINEHOUSE was possibly one of the biggest names in pop whose life was tragically cut short by her death on the 23rd July 2011 at the young age of just 27.

EARLY LIFE

Amy Jade Winehouse was born on 14 September 1983 and was brought up in Southgate, London. Her father, Mitch, a taxi driver was her inspiration as a jazz enthusiast who sang his daughter songs from a young age. The Back to Black singer trained at the Susi Earnshaw Theatre School from 8 years of age and went on to attend the Sylvia Young Theatre School. Winehouse started writing music at 14 and landed herself a contract with the Island/Universal Records label.

CAREER

Amy released her first debut album, Frank in 2003 which reached number 5 in the UK album chart. Almost every song on the album was written by Amy herself and she won the Ivor Novello songwriting award. However this praise was short lived on the release of her second album Back to Black in October 2006 which increased her public image for all the wrong reasons. The well known song Rehab reached number seven in the singles chart and generated huge publicity due to lyrics telling of her refusal to attend rehab for her alcohol and drug abuse and she was frequently papped drinking whilst on stage. Despite this her career flourished and in February 2007 she won the Brit Award for best British Female and later scooped song of the year. Amy was named artist of the year by MTV but it appeared such fame was affecting her health as her behaviour became wild and out of control with chains of television appearances under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

PERSONAL LIFE

At the same time as her thriving career Amy had a lot of personal issues coinciding. Amy was often battling eating disorders, weight loss and self harming. The talented singer was inspired by her ex-boyfriend Blake Fielder-Civil when writing her second album. Amy later surprised fans when she got secretly married to Blake in 2007 who was arrested for GBH later that year. Shortly after Winehouse had a stint in rehab after she was pictured smoking crack cocaine and it soon became apparent that her private life was severely affecting her professional music career. Attention was drawn to this at her Glastonbury performance which was described as ‘dismal’ and she was spotted punching a fan; Ever since her performances were few and far between and the quality of each was decreasing rapidly.

DEATH

Amy Winehouse was found dead in her Camden home on the 23rd July 2011 following a chain of poor performances. Family and friends celebrated her life at a private funeral service where her tearful father said farewell to his ‘angel’. Her death remains unexplained however her memory will live on in her musical legacy and let’s not forget the famous ‘beehive’ hairdo.

Let the legacy of Amy live on.

by Kirsty Dewhurst