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July 23rd, 2011
It is with a heavy heart that I share the news today that Amy Winehouse, Grammy-winning singer and songwriter, has been found dead in her London home at the age of 27. Police sources have confirmed to the BBC that while the cause of death is currently listed as ‘unexplained’, no foul play is thought to be involved. An ambulance was called to the Camden flat early this morning, but Winehouse was pronounced dead at the scene.
In 2003 Winehouse wowed the music world with her debut album Frank, which was nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize. With a voice like Aretha Franklin and a pen like Carol King, Winehouse rose to fame with her 2006 sophomore album Back to Black, earning an astounding six Grammy nominations and five wins in 2008 for the record. One of Winehouse’s last recordings was with her Back to Black producer Mark Ronson in 2010 on a cover of It’s My Party for a Quincy Jones tribute album.
Unfortunately, Winehouse’s antics on and off stage often took the focus away from the singer’s undeniable talent. Amy’s battle with drugs and alcohol resulted in cancelled tours, numerous visits to rehab and legal hearings, often times making the supremely gifted Winehouse the joke for tabloid front pages. Her unstable marriage to fellow drug-addicted Londoner Blake Civil-Fielder lasted two years, much of which was documented by celebrity gossip magazines.
While Winehouse’s death may not come as a shock to many, it did seem like the singer was moving towards a sober living style. She had recently spent time in a rehab facility and was planning on working with The Roots drummer ?uestlove, as well as Adele and Aloe Black in the coming months. On Wednesday night the singer joined her goddaughter Dionne Bromfield on stage in Camden to promote Bromfield’s album, appearing coherent and healthy.
Winehouse joins the list of gifted musicians who lost their lives at the age of 27 due to drug and alcohol abuse, including Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Brian Jones. While the use of Winehouse’s breakout track Rehab will likely be used as the butt of jokes in the coming days, it is important to remember what a huge loss her death is to the music community and that her memory as a gifted signer and songwriter is what should precede Winehouse.
Below are two tracks from Winehouse’s Back to Black, including the title track and You Know I’m No Good, which I believe is one of the most perfect songs of all time.
You Know I’m No Good
Back to Black
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