The Life and Music of Amy Winehouse

July 23, 2011 3:18 PM

Amy Winehouse in Harper's Bazaar

Amy Winehouse was found dead today at age 27 in her home in Camden in North London. The story continues to develop and can be followed via the BBC.

Her relatively short time in the international spotlight, which began with her critically acclaimed breakthrough album Back to Black, released in 2006 when she was just 23, has been plagued with drug and alcohol abuse and self destructive behavior. Today more than ever, critics, friends and fans lament the ruin and loss of a great musical talent.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s wife, Sarah Brown, tweeted: “Sad sad news of Amy Winehouse – great talent, extraordinary voice, and tragic death, condolences to her family.”

Kelly Osbourne tweeted: “i cant even breath right my now im crying so hard i just lost 1 of my best friends. i love you forever Amy & will never forget the real you!”

Piers Morgan tweeted: “Such desperately sad news re Amy Winehouse. Supreme natural talent, terrible self-destructive addictive personality. #RIP

Amy Winehouse’s  father, Mitchell Winehouse, was a taxi driver and jazz enthusiast and Amy studied at the Susi Earnshaw Theatre School when she was eight, then the prestigious Sylvia Young Theatre School (from which she was expelled for piercing her own nose) and began writing music at the age of 14. She co-wrote all but two of the songs on her first album, Frank, which won a number of prestigious awards in the UK. Her next album, Back to Black and its  first single, “Rehab”, catapulted her into international superstardom and won five Grammys awards, making her one of the most celebrated female artists in the world. Read the full story at the BBC.

The women I know embraced Back to Black as their new The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill for its Shirelles-era-Phil Spectre-“wall of sound” quality, it’s mixture of both fun and sadness and its sensationally honest and deeply personal lyrics about addiction – to love, relationships and everything else – delivered by a soulful and gutsy heroine with one heck of a voice.

We listened to her music while getting ready for work in the morning, sang it at the top of our lungs before going out at night and used it like medicine to recuperate from debilitating breakups. She was one of our champions and we will always be grateful to her for her songs.

Listen to our Amy Winehouse playlist and check out some of our favorite photos of her below:


Amy Winehouse through the years





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