Yesterday, September 14th, marked the 36th birthday of the late Amy Winehouse. English singer-songwriter Winehouse was known for having deep, contralto vocals. She dabbled in a mix of musical genres, including soul (blue-eyed soul and neo-soul), R&B and jazz. Her debut album, Frank (2003,) was nominated for Brit Awards and became widely popular in the United Kingdom.
Her success didn’t stop there. Her sophomore album, Back to Black (2006), received five Grammy awards in 2008, and she went down in history as the first British woman to win five Grammy awards. Tragically, Winehouse suffered from drug and alcohol addiction. She passed away on July 23, 2011, from alcohol intoxication at only 27 years old.
However, Winehouse legacy still lives on. The year after her untimely demise, she was one of the many British cultural icons selected by British pop artist Sir Peter Blake to appear in a remake of his most famous artwork – the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover. In 2014, on the day which would have been her 31st birthday, sculptor, Scott Easton, unveiled a statue of her, in Camden Town, North London.
Album covers and sculptures aren’t the only things left of Amy Winehouse. She inspired a new generation of artists. Adele and Duffy, both British singers, are the second wave of musicians with a similar experimental sound to Winehouse’s. Adele has credited Winehouse for making her and Duffy’s journey to the United States “a bit smoother.”
Lady Gaga also gave credit to Winehouse, saying she paved the way for unconventional female pop artists in the music industry. Winehouse has also inspired or influenced many modern artists – Bruno Mars, Tove Lo, Ellie Goulding, Lana Del Rey, Sam Smith, Halsey, Alessia Cara, and plenty of others.
On her 28th birthday, the Winehouse family established the Amy Winehouse Foundation. The program aims to help inform youth on drug use and alcoholism, as well as providing music therapy to ill or disadvantaged youth.
Although Amy Winehouse is no longer with us, her one-of-a-kind music will live forever. Here are some of her most timeless tracks:
Me and Mr. Jones
Love Is a Losing Game
Back to Black
Life is so much more rewarding if you strive for something, rather than take what’s given to you on a plate. – Amy Winehouse
Featured Image via Bill Strain on Flickr