When news broke that English singer Amy Winehouse had died at the mere age of 27 on Saturday, the hearts of many broke around the world. Despite the singer’s struggling addiction with drugs and alcohol and multiple stints in rehab, her family and fans were shocked to find out her life was cut so short. In her memory, we recall why she was so special to so many.
1. Musical Impact
Known for her powerful vocals that were influenced by R&B, soul and jazz, Winehouse released her debut album, Frank, in 2003, and her sophomore album, Back to Black, in 2006. Back to Black earned her five Grammy awards, including “Best New Artist,” making her the first British female to win that many Grammys. She will always be remembered for revitalizing British music. In February 2010, Jay Z cosigned to the BBC: “There’s a strong push coming out of London right now, which is great. It’s been coming ever since I guess Amy (Winehouse). I mean always, but I think Amy, this resurgence was ushered in by Amy.”
2. Paved the Way for Other Female Artists
Female soul singers definitely became more popular after Winehouse hit the scene, and Adele once stated that Winehouse made her and fellow British singer Duffy’s journey to success “smoother.” Even Lady Gaga has credited Winehouse for paving a way for unconventional artists like herself to achieve mainstream success.
3. Live by Her Own Rules
When it came to her music, style or pretty much anything else, Winehouse didn’t play by the rules. Her first album was jazz-influenced, while her second one mirrored girl groups of the 1950s and 1960s. She was also known for her signature beehive hairstyle and heavy eye makeup. Her distinctive style influenced top fashion designers like Karl Lagerfield, who once called her a “style icon.”
4. Sought Redemption
Despite her myriad of issues including substance abuse, mental problems (depression) and health problems (early-stage emphysema, a lung disease that causes shortness of breath), Winehouse sought help including hospitalizations and stints in rehab, and her family and fans supported her throughout her rocky periods. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough and hopefully her story will help someone struggling with addiction find a true path to redemption.
5. About Love
She may have had fame and fortune, but Winehouse put her family(and fans) first. At her memorial over the weekend, her father, Mitch Winehouse, thanked her fans by saying: “I can’t tell you what this means to us. It really is making this a lot easier for us.. Amy was about one thing, and that was love. Her whole life was devoted to her family and her friends, and to you guys as well.”
—— By: Crystal Tate