Amy Jade Winehouse came into the world on September 14th, 1983 in London, England to Mitchell Winehouse, a taxi driver, and his wife Janis, a pharmacist. Amy was raised in a home livened with theater and music, specifically jazz music as her father was a former jazz singer. At the age of ten, she formed a rap group with friends, titled Sweet N Sour, in which she took on the pseudonym of "Sour". Amy also grew up playing her older brother Alex's guitar until being given her own when she was thirteen. Her love of theater led her to begin training at the Sylvia Young Theater School in London, England at the age of twelve. However, two years later, she was expelled from the school because she did not apply herself and because she pierced her nose on her own. Amy then attended the BRIT School, a school for the performing arts located in Croydon.
"Having listened to great songwriters like James Taylor and Carole King, I felt there was nothing new that was coming out that really represented me and the way I felt. So I started writing my own stuff." Amy Winehouse
When Amy was sixteen years old, she performed gigs at clubs and recorded demos. When she turned nineteen, she recorded her debut album titled Frank. Not only was the album a hit in Britain, but it won critical acclaim as Amy received an Ivor Novello award for songwriting, two Brit nominations and was shortlisted for the Mercury Music Prize. Despite this success, Amy expressed her distaste of the album because she was "only 80 per cent" involved in making it. Her life then went downhill as she ended her relationship with her boyfriend and experienced a prolonged period of writer's block, all while smoking quantities of marijuana.
Finally, in 2006, Amy released another album titled Back to Black. The album was an international hit and Amy's level of fame reached the global platform. Meanwhile, in 2007 she married Blake Fielder-Civil, a presence in the music industry. In November of that year, Blake was arrested for assaulting a pub manager in 2006. He pled guilty to the crime and to offering the man 200,000 pounds of hush money. Amy supported Blake throughout the trial and while he was in jail. The following year, Amy became the first British female to win five Grammy awards in the same night. Her Grammy awards included song and record of the year for "Rehab", where she sings about her addiction to alcohol and refusal to go to rehabilitation for treatment.
"My justification is that most people my age spend a lot of time thinking about what they're going to do for the next five or ten years. The time they spend thinking about their life, I just spend drinking." Amy Winehouse
However, Amy's life continued to spiral downhill as the same year, she was sent to the hospital for falling and injuring herself (where it was revealed that she showed early signs of the lung disease emphysema), left the hospital to perform for Nelson Mandela at his 90th birthday concert and at the Glastonbury festival the following day, and returned to treatment. Amy's life was riddled with such triumphs and tribulations. She battled eating disorders, divorced her husband and revealed that she was diagnosed as manic depressive but refused to medicate. Her family's consistent love, support and help were no match for her powerful addiction.
Earlier this year, she announced she would tour Europe and eager fans hoped for a comeback. During the first few shows, Amy appeared drunk and was booed for delivering a poor performance. Hence, the tour was canceled by Amy's management team to allow her to recover. But the singer never recovered.
Yesterday, on July 23rd 2011, Amy was discovered deceased at her London apartment. Millions around the world were shocked to hear the news of her death, but not surprised to know that no foul play is suspected . . . that Amy may have died of a possible drug overdose. Amy joins a slew of musicians who died at the age of 27: Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Brian Jones and Kurt Cobain. Though Amy is no longer with us, her music lives on forever.
Rest in peace, Amy Winehouse.
Author's Note: Sources: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1561881/bio