Music

Remembering Amy Winehouse: The First Anniversary

Amy Winehouse

Continuing a year of Great British prosperity and patriotism, this summer holds a promise of an enthralling action-packed series of exciting events. But with the recent release of Mitch Winehouse’s memoir “Amy, My Daughter”, the nation is sombrely reminded of the tragic events of last July, as the 23rd marks the first anniversary of the untimely demise of one of Britain’s greatest songbirds, Amy Winehouse.

Winehouse, born in 1983 from humble Jewish roots, from an early age showed signs of extraordinary creative and vocal talents. She attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School and was alleged expelled for misbehaviour, but went on to attend the prestigious Brit School where her true talents began to shine through.  Winehouse quickly rose to superstardom and captured the nation with her controversial and troubled persona, eclectic and unique musical style and her incomparably striking voice.  Winehouse went on receive countless awards, including five Grammy’s, three Ivor Novello awards, and her 2006 album ‘Back to Black’ became the best-selling album of the 21st century. By this time she had reach unprecedented levels of fame and with her iconic dark beehive hairstyle, flamboyant black eyeliner and red lipstick, she was internationally loved and recognised, and had acquired an established and highly dedicated fan-base.

However, Winehouse’s troubles were evident from the outset. She was openly criticised heavily by the press and media for her wild drunken antics and prolific drug usage, and sustained a high-profile, tempestuous romance and subsequent marriage with video production assistant Blake Fielder-Civil. The heavily tattooed star was often seen plastered over the front covers of newspapers and magazines, fighting in the streets, covered in injuries, barely clothed and skeletal, which persistently provoked harsh criticisms from the press and public alike.  Never out of the chastising public eye, Winehouse’s erratic behaviour appeared to deteriorate and became more and more of a concern.  By the summer of 2011, it became apparent that Winehouse was in serious danger, and was it reported that she had fallen into a destructive cycle of drug-use, alcohol abuse and depression.

On the 23rd July 2011, Winehouse was tragically pronounced dead at her London home. The cause of death was initially suspected to be suicide from drug overdose, but it was later discovered that in fact she had died from alcohol poisoning. The press and media had a field day in an arguably insensitive ‘we told you so’ manner, still persecuting her as the epitome of the lost cause.  But was Winehouse truly the villain here, a poster-child for the sex, drugs, and rock and roll lifestyle, who had met her inevitable demise? Or, in actual fact, was she just a scared, vulnerable young woman, thrust violently into overwhelming success and constantly harassed by the media to a point of self-destruction?

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