Saturday, July 23, 2011

Amy Winehouse - A Beautiful Voice Cut Short

It is sad to hear that the brilliant British singer Amy Winehouse passed away on July 23, 2011.

A beautiful voice she was, but she failed to face up to her inner demons and the perils of drug addiction.

Read all about her here.

Thanks, Wikipedia.

Amy Jade Winehouse (September 14, 1983 – July 23, 2011) was a British singer-songwriter known for her powerful contralto vocals and her eclectic mix of musical genres including R&B, soul and jazz.

Winehouse's 2003 debut album, Frank, was critically successful in the UK and was nominated for the Mercury Prize.

Her 2006 follow-up album, Back To Black, led to six Grammy Award nominations and five wins, tying the record for the most wins by a female artist in a single night, and made Winehouse the first British singer to win five Grammys, including three of the "Big Four": Best New Artist, Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year.

On February 14, 2007, she won a BRIT Award for Best British Female Artist.

She won the Ivor Novello Award three times, one in 2004 for Best Contemporary Song (Musically And Lyrically) for Stronger Than Me, one in 2007 for Best Contemporary Song for Rehab and one in 2008 for Best Song Musically And Lyrically for Love Is A Losing Game.

The album was the third biggest seller of the 2000s in the United Kingdom.

Winehouse was credited as an influence in the rise in popularity of female musicians and soul music, and also for revitalising British music.

Winehouse's distinctive style made her a muse for fashion designers such as Karl Lagerfeld.

The singer's problems with drug and alcohol abuse, as well as self-destructive behaviour, were regular tabloid news from 2007 until her death.

She and her former husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, were plagued by legal troubles that left him serving prison time.

Winehouse died at the age of 27 on July 23, 2011 at her home in London.

Winehouse was born in the Southgate area of north London to a Jewish family who were the source of her interest in jazz.

Winehouse was the younger of two children (elder brother Alex) of Mitchell Winehouse, a taxi driver and Janis Winehouse Seaton, a pharmacist.

Mitchell often sang Frank Sinatra songs to young Amy.

When Winehouse was 10, she founded a short-lived rap group called Sweet N Sour with childhood friend Juliette Ashby.

Winehouse received her first guitar when she was 13 and began writing music a year later.

She began working soon after, including as a showbiz journalist for the World Entertainment News Network, in addition to singing with local group the Bolsha Band.

Winehouse signed to Simon Fuller's 19 Management in 2002.

Winehouse's greatest love was 1960s girl groups.

She borrowed her "instantly recognisable" Beehive hairdo and Cleopatra makeup from The Ronettes.

Winehouse's debut album, Frank, was released on October 20, 2003.

Produced mainly by Salaam Remi, many songs were influenced by jazz and, apart from two covers, every song was co-written by Winehouse.

The album entered the upper levels of the UK album chart in 2004 when it was nominated for BRIT Awards in the categories of British Female Solo Artist and British Urban Act.

It went on to achieve platinum sales.

Later in 2004, she won the Ivor Novello Songwriting Award for Best Contemporary Song, alongside Salaam Remi, with her contribution to the first single, Stronger Than Me.

The singer won the 2008 Grammy Awards in the categories of Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for the single Rehab, while her album Back To Black was nominated for Album Of The Year and won the Best Pop Vocal Album award.

Producer Mark Ronson's work with her won the Grammy Award for Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical category.

The singer also earned a Grammy in the Best New Artist category.

This earned Winehouse an entry in the 2009 edition of the Guinness Book Of World Records for Most Grammy Awards won by a British Female Act.

British singer Adele credited Winehouse's success in the United States for making her and fellow British singer Duffy's journey to the United States "a bit smoother".

American singer Lady Gaga credited Winehouse with paving the way for her rise to the top of the charts.

Winehouse's last public appearance took place at Camden's Roundhouse, London on July 20, 2011, when she made a surprise guest appearance on stage to support her god daughter Dionne Bromfield.

Winehouse married on-off boyfriend Blake Fielder-Civil (born August 1978), a former video production assistant, on May 18, 2007, in Miami, Florida.

They divorced in 2009.