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Amy Winehouse

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Much can be said about the late Amy Winehouse, one of the U.K.'s flagship vocalists during the 2000s. The British press and tabloids seemed to focus on her rowdy behavior, heavy consumption of alcohol, and tragic end, but fans and critics alike embraced her rugged charm, brash sense of humor, and distinctively soulful and jazzy vocals. Her platinum-selling breakthrough album, Frank (2003), elicited comparisons ranging from Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan to Macy Gray and Lauryn Hill. Interestingly enough, despite her strong accent and vernacular, one can often hear aspects of each of those singers' vocal repertoires in Winehouse's own voice. Nonetheless, her allure had always been her songwriting -- almost always deeply personal but best known for its profanity and brutal candor. Born to a taxi-driving father and a pharmacist mother, Winehouse grew up in the Southgate area of northern London. Her upbringing was surrounded by jazz. Many of the uncles on her mother's side were professional jazz musicians, and even her paternal grandmother was romantically involved with British jazz legend Ronnie Scott at one time. While at home, she listened to and absorbed her parents' selection of greats: Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra among others. However, in her teens, she was drawn to the rebellious spirit of TLC, Salt-N-Pepa, and other American R&B and hip-hop acts of the time. At the age of 16, after she had been expelled from London's Sylvia Young Theatre School, she caught her first break when pop singer Tyler James, a schoolmate and close friend, passed on her demo tape to his A&R representative, who was searching for a jazz vocalist. That opportunity led to her recording contract with Island Records. By the end of 2003, when she was 20 years old, Island had released her debut album, Frank. With contributions from hip-hop producer/keyboardist Salaam Remi, Winehouse's amalgam of jazz, pop, soul, and hip-hop received rave reviews. The album was nominated for the 2004 Mercury Music Prize as well as two Brit Awards, and its lead single, "Stronger Than Me," won an Ivor Novello Award for Best Contemporary Song. Following Winehouse's debut, the accolades and inquiring interviews appeared concurrently in the press with her tempestuous public life. Several times she showed up to her club or TV performances too drunk to sing an entire set. In 2006, her management company finally suggested that she enter rehab for alcohol abuse, but instead, she dumped the company and transcribed the ordeal into the U.K. Top Ten hit "Rehab," the lead single for her second, critically acclaimed album, Back to Black. Containing evocative productions from Salaam Remi and British DJ/multi-instrumentalist Mark Ronson, the album somewhat abandoned jazz, delving into the sounds of '50s/'60s-era girl group harmonies, rock & roll, and soul. The fanfare over the release was so great that it started to spill over onto U.S. shores; several rappers and DJs made their own remixes of various songs, not to mention covers by Prince and the Arctic Monkeys. One month after Winehouse won Best Female Artist at the Brit Awards in February 2007, Universal released Back to Black in the U.S. The LP charted higher than any other American debut by a British female recording artist before it, and it remained in the Top Ten for several months, selling a million copies by the end of that summer. Just as in the U.K., she became the talk of the town, landing on the covers of Rolling Stone and Spin magazines. Not long afterward, though, Winehouse canceled her North American tour. Early reports revealed that she was entering rehab for alcohol and drug addiction, but her new management denied the claims, stating it was due to severe exhaustion. Her erratic behavior kept her and her new husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, in the tabloids constantly, on and off stages on both sides of the Atlantic, but in late 2007, American fans were finally given a chance to hear Winehouse's early work, with a slightly abbreviated (two songs removed and one added) version of Frank. Unfortunately, the next four years were filled with drama, disappointment, and very little music. By 2009, her marriage had ended in divorce, she had repeatedly been arrested on assault charges and/or public order offenses, her struggles with substance abuse and mental health issues tragically played out in the press. Public performances turned into incoherent disasters, the worst of them posted to video-sharing sites for all to see. A track on the Quincy Jones tribute Q: Soul Bossa Nostra appeared in 2010, while a duet with Tony Bennett was announced in early 2011, but a planned follow-up to Back to Black would never make it past the demo stage. Winehouse was found dead in her Camden, London apartment on July 23, 2011. The coroner's report, delivered three months later, revealed that her blood alcohol content had reached a potentially fatal level. Nearly two months after her death, Winehouse's first posthumous appearance was released on Tony Bennett's Duets II, where she duetted with him on "Body and Soul." Near the end of 2011, her family's foundation announced the release of Lioness: Hidden Treasures, a posthumous compilation featuring recordings from throughout her career (although a few of the arrangements were recorded after her death). A year after Lioness came At the BBC, a deluxe CD/DVD set -- available both as a four-disc box and a smaller two-disc compilation -- rounding up all of her live performances for the British Broadcasting Company. In the summer of 2015, Amy, a documentary by director Asif Kapadia, told her story through photographs, archival footage (in the studio and out), and music. Much of this media had not been available previously. It also contained interviews with friends, family, musical collaborators, and the late singer. That October, a soundtrack was issued that alternated previously released and unreleased Winehouse material with pieces from the film's score. ~ Cyril Cordor
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Stations Featuring
Amy Winehouse

    Female Rock

    Female Rock
    3 songs

    Coffeehouse Corner

    Coffeehouse Corner
    5 songs

    Breakup Songs

    Breakup Songs
    1 song

    Relax Trax

    Relax Trax
    7 songs

    Party Hits

    1 song

    Gay Anthems

    4 songs

    Female Focus

    1 song

    Neo-Soul

    1 song

Albums by
Amy Winehouse

Top Songs by
Amy Winehouse

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Rehab
  3.   Back to Black
  4.   You Know I'm No Good
  5.   Tears Dry On Their Own
  6.   Valerie
  7.   Our Day Will Come
  8.   Wake Up Alone
  9.   Stronger Than Me
  10.   Love Is a Losing Game
  11.   Me & Mr. Jones
  12.   Some Unholy War
  13.   Fuck Me Pumps
  14.   He Can Only Hold Her
  15.   Just Friends
  16.   October Song
  17.   Cupid
  18.   A Song for You
  19.   Hey Little Rich Girl
  20.   Addicted
  21.   Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?
  22.   Tears Dry
  23.   Like Smoke
  24.   Moody's Mood for Love
  25.   Fool's Gold
  26.   To Know Him Is to Love Him
  27.   Rehab by Pharoahe Monch
  28.   You Sent Me Flying/Cherry
  29.   F*** Me Pumps
  30.   Half Time
  31.   I Heard Love Is Blind
  32.   We're Still Friends
  33.   Monkey Man
  34.   03Tears Dry On Their Own
  35.   The Girl from Ipanema
  36.   In My Bed
  37.   Someone to Watch Over Me
  38.   Brother
  39.   Amy Amy Amy
  40.   You Sent Me Flying
  41.   Take the Box
  42.   Between the Cheats
  43.   Moody's Mood for Love/Teo Licks
  44.   You're Wondering Now
  45.   Outro
  46.   Teo Licks
  47.   Know You Now
  48.   Cherry
  49.   'Round Midnight
  50.   What It Is
  51.   Best Friends, Right?
  52.   01Addicted
  53.   What Is It About Men
  54.   (There Is) No Greater Love
  55.   Teach Me Tonight
  56.   Mr. Magic (Through the Smoke)
  57.   Intro
  58.   Intro/Stronger Than Me

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