Amy Winehouse: Gone But Never Forgotten

Ben Broyd
4 min readJul 22, 2021

On this week 10 years ago, Amy Winehouse sadly passed away. Amy was an English singer songwriter, and quite possibly the best voice of her generation, known for her deep, expressive vocals and meaningful lyrics, inspired through an eclectic blend of musical genres stemming from soul, rhythm and blues, and jazz. Inspired through family relations, it appeared that Amy was always destined to be involved with jazz. Many of her uncles were professional jazz musicians, whilst Amy’s grandmother even dated the famous saxophonist, and prestigious bar owner Ronnie Scott.

Amy’s love affair with music began at a very early age. Amy started writing music at the age of 14, whilst at the same time was the lead vocalist for her local group the Bolsha Band. Following this, she became the lead singer of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra.

Fast forward a few years, Winehouse had accidentally been spotted by an Island Records A&R representative, Darcus Beese, when the manager of the Lewinson Brothers showed him some productions of his clients. Beese fell in love with Amy’s voice, and begged the manager to tell him who this woman was. Sworn to secrecy, Beese took several months searching intensively, before finally finding out who Amy was. It was definitely worth the extensive search.

Once found, Beese introduced Winehouse to his boss, Nick Gatfield and immediately signed her to Island Records. Amy released her debut album ‘Frank’ shortly after, and drew comparisons from the likes of Sarah Vaughan and Macy Gray. Winehouse released her follow-up album, ‘Back to Black’, in 2006, which went on to become an international success and one of the best-selling albums in UK history. Every single from the album you could argue is a classic, however, favourites include ‘Rehab’, ‘Back to Black’, and ‘Tears Dry on Their Own’. Back to Black landed Amy with 5 Grammy awards, along with an entry into the Guinness Book of Records, so much for the curse of the sophomore album. ‘Back to Black’ projected Amy to international stardom as her voice grew into one of the most distinctive in the world.

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Ben Broyd

I write about music, amongst other things. Hope you enjoy.