Amy Winehouse


Amy Winehouse is a rebel, and she always has been. The 24 year old tattooed English songstress - best known in the United States for her semiautobiographical 2006 single "Rehab", a soulful jazz-inspired number featuring a verse by rap mogul Jay-Z - is currently fighting a losing battle with drug addiction, and has been in and out of treatment facilities and courtrooms for years. While Amy's erratic public behavior has become the stuff of tabloid legend, it's really nothing new.

Born to a musically inclined family in London, Amy was a precocious child; she received poor marks in grammar school because she wouldn't stop singing. Her talent eventually led to her enrollment in the Sylvia Young Theatre School, though she was soon expelled for bad behavior and getting a nose piercing, among other offenses. Despite this, Amy still managed to later attend The BRIT School, a prestigious performing arts academy whose alumni include Leona Lewis and Imogen Heap. While working as a freelance music journalist by day and as the singer of a local jazz band by night, one of Winehouse's demo tapes came to the attention of Simon Fuller, the artist manager behind the success of the Spice Girls and Kylie Minogue. He liked what he heard, and soon landed the nineteen year old Winehouse a record deal with Island Records. Winehouse soon began working on her debut album, Frank, which was released in September 2003. Though Frank was hugely popular in England (even earning a double-Platinum certification), it failed to make a large impression in the United States - but it would later go on to sell over 200,000 copies when it was reissued in 2008. Frank eventually spawned four singles, among them "Stronger Than Me", "Take The Box", and "In My Bed".

Despite the fact that the jazz-inspired Frank was very warmly received by fans and critics alike, Amy was dissatisfied with the album and refused to begin working on another album for almost two years. She eventually began songwriting again in 2005 at the urging of then-boyfriend Mark Ronson, a prominent New York City DJ. In 2006 Amy began working on new material in the studio backed by soul/funk outfit the Dap-Kings (Sharon Jones' backing band), eventually releasing her sophomore album Back to Black just six months later.

Back to Black was an immense success, marked by Winehouse's emotive vocals and the vintage production style used by producer Salaam Remi, which gave the record the feel of a live lounge performance. Back to Black peaked at #1 in the UK and #2 in the USA, eventually moving in excess of 10 million units worldwide and earning the young singer five Grammy awards, including Album of the Year and Best New Artist. Notable tracks from Back to Black include "Rehab", the album's lead single, as well as "You Know I'm No Good" and "Love is a Losing Game". Post-Back to Black, Amy began touring aggressively in support of her new album, but controversially had to cancel a number of tour dates and performances throughout 2007 and 2008 due to health problems caused by her drug problem, though she has since began receiving treatment.

Currently, Amy is hard at work on a yet-untitled third album. She has begun collaborating with a number of artists, including Prince and Damian Marley, on new material which may see the light of day on her third album, rumored to be released sometime in 2009.

From Discogs:

Born September 14, 1983. Is an English jazz/soul singer and songwriter. Her debut album, Frank (released in 2003) was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize and she won an Ivor Novello award in 2004 for her debut single "Stronger Than Me". In 2006, she released her second album, Back to Black.

From Lastfm:

Amy Jade Winehouse (born 14 September 1983 in Southgate, London, died 23 July 2011 in Camden, London) was an English singer and composer, known for her eclectic mix of various musical genres including , , rock 'n' roll and . Her musical formation went through listening to such jazz divas as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan; she was later influenced by contemporary metropolitan popular music as well. She represented a union of these aesthetics: a happy fusion of '40s jazz, '60s soul and hard texts inspired by daily life.

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From Wikipedia:

Amy Jade Winehouse (born 14 September 1983) is an English singer-songwriter, known for her eclectic mix of various musical genres including R&B, soul, jazz Winehouse is best known for her soulful, powerful contralto vocals.

Winehouse's 2003 debut album Frank was commercially and critically successful in her native Britain, 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 14 February 2007, she won a BRIT Award for Best British Female Artist; she had also been nominated for Best British Album. She has 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", among other prestigious distinctions. The album was the third biggest seller of the 2000s in the United Kingdom.. Winehouse has agreed to form a group with the Roots drummer ?uestlove.

Winehouse has been credited as being an influence in the rise in popularity of female musicians and soul music and revitalising British music.

Winehouse's distinctive style has been the muse for fashion designers such as Karl Lagerfeld. The singer's problems with drug and alcohol abuse, as well as self-destructive behaviour, have become regular tabloid news since 2007. She and her former husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, were plagued by legal troubles that left him serving prison time. In 2008, Winehouse faced a series of health complications that threatened both her career and her life.

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