Amy Winehouse’s last recording with idol Tony Bennett on one of her dad’s favourite songs, Body and Soul.
Today it's been one year without Amy Winehouse. No matter how predictable it was for some, the music community as a whole was shocked at the news of Amy's death due to alcohol poisoning on 23 July 2011. Her admirers all around the world spared no tears for the 27 years old wondergirl. As is often the case with the tragic event of a young person's loss, what was truly sad was the mere fact of the farewell to such a great potential and future productivity.
Amy Winehouse was more of a living legend, on account of being highly and repeatedly acclaimed as a striking artist, an amazing voice, an incomparable talent of the kind that hopefully comes along once every other decade. Our generation had found at last its own landmark vox, hoarse and brassy, personified by a brilliant musician that created new trends out of the old times. All of a sudden soul-jazz sounds, vintage clothing, and beehive hairdos were everywhere. Once you've heard her particular music, you would probably end up indulging or singing along accidentally. Her deep contralto vocals also had this compelling power that made you want to listen more and more. To me, she was the only representation of the retro attitude that I allowed myself to enjoy.
Born in 1983, Amy Jade Winehouse was raised in Southgate of North London by a jazz-influenced family. By the age of ten she formed the music band Sweet ‘n’ Sour; later on she attended a private school aimed at performing arts, while at her fourteen she unfolded noticeable composing and songwriting skills. So it seemed quite natural when her debut album Frank received triumphant criticism in 2003 and, soon after, her raspy voice was compared next to some of the most extraordinary voices of the 20th century. In 2006 Back to Black was released, containing legendary tracks like the titular song, You Know I’m No Good, and Rehab, which earned her historically mainstream success and plenty awards of worldwide significance. Many British singers like Adele, Lily Allen, and Duffy have admitted the staple influence she had on building their career. Amy became a dashing rebel at her own music vision in no time.
Unfortunately she wasn’t so resilient. Whether her dysfunctional marriage, substance abuse issues, or the tension of being under the public eye is to blame, the thing is that somehow she found herself in tatters. Posthumously, it became apparent that her potent autobiographical lyrics were a big cry for help, or better, an unambiguous reflection of a perpetual struggle with her inner demons. Young and vulnerable people do not necessarily cope with stardom at ease. It’s no secret that behind the sparkling lights of the stage there is often a suppressed fragility well hidden that can come out in numerous ways of self-destructiveness.
|Amy Winehouse at Bowery Ballroom, 13 March 2007. Photo: Daniel Arnold. WikiCommons.|
On September 14th 2011, date of the late singer’s 28th birthday, her family launched the Amy Winehouse Foundation, a charitable organisation devoted to young people in need. Music heritage certainly seems insufficient without its defining talents, such as Amy Winehouse. A gifted girl, a warm-hearted person, a promising artist, a memorable figure...
Long Sing Amy!
Girl Museum Inc.