Sunday, May 09th

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Lady Day to Lady Tee: The Leading Ladies of Blue-Eyed Soul - Page 6

Amy Winehouse

Thought to have spearheaded the U.K. invasion of female artists during the late ’00s, Winehouse’s wildly successful musical career has nearly been overshadowed by her laundry list of personal issues, including a tumultuous marriage, alcohol and drug addiction, rehab stints, eating disorders, and legal troubles—to name a few.

Born in Southgate, London, in 1983, Winehouse showed an early interest in music and as a rebel. By 14 she’d received her first guitar and was writing music. Still, a former teacher at Sylvia Young Theatre School described her as disruptive and lacking concentration. Afterward she enrolled at the BRIT School, a performing arts school later attended by singer Adele.

Winehouse’s sexy contralto voice resulted in mounting interest in the young vocalist and secured her a record deal with Island Records. She co-wrote all original material on her soul and jazz-infused 2003 debut album, “Frank,” highlighting her flair for inventive and candid lyrics (evidenced in such tracks as “Brother” and “What Is It About Men”).

Her second album, “Back to Black” (2006), incorporates reggae and the doo-wop sound of ’50s and ’60s, heard on the first single, “Rehab,” based on her management company’s suggestion that she go to rehab for addiction.  But never one to conform, she instead dropped the company.

Winehouse won five Grammys in 2008 for the critically-acclaimed album. However, some felt she shouldn’t have won the awards given her personal problems, including Natalie Cole who said, “We have to stop rewarding bad behavior…She needs to get herself together.”

And it seems Winehouse has been doing just that. In recent years she ended her marriage, which she says “was based on doing drugs,” submitted to rehab, and even collaborated with the Fred Perrylabel on a vintage-inspired collection. As for her music, she’s yet to release any new material, but it’s said her next album will drop early this year. Until then, we anxiously wait to see what she’ll do next.

Reminds you of: Lauryn Hill
Must listen to track: “What It Is” from the album “The Other Side Of Amy Winehouse”