One year ago today, the world and popular music lost an irreplaceable and timeless innovator.
Amy Winehouse, one of the most brilliant singer/songwriters of the twenty-first century, passed away from accidental alcohol poisoning last year. The world grieved the untimely death of a prolific talent who was in the process of redeeming herself from a self-destructive past of drug and alcohol abuse.
Amy Winehouse’s powerhouse soul, jazz and gospel influenced vocals put the London-born singer into a lane all her own.
Her musical aesthetic, which implements 1960s pop, jazz, soul, funk, reggae, and R&B, is emblematic of Winehouse’s unprecedented creativity in music production.
A queen of improvisation, Amy Winehouse was known for singing runs that were effortless, yet intricate and delivering them with a gritty, yet polished tone.
The lyrics Winehouse penned have an acerbic wit and playfulness, which gave her fans a raw look into her trials with life and love.
Her penchant for reinvention is evident in the many songs that Amy Winehouse covered and made her own, including the jazz classic “Round Midnight” and the Linda Rondstat 1975 pop hit “You’re No Good.”
The five-time Grammy Award winner received international acclaim for her two albums, Frank in 2003 and Back to Black in 2007, the latter that went multiplatinum.
Since her passing, Amy’s father Mitch founded The Amy Winehouse Foundation in the United Kingdom and the United States.
The fund, which was has raised over $1 million dollars so far, donates money to help support young people in need because of poor health, economic disparity, or substance addiction.
Even in death, Amy Winehouse continues to make a compelling and positive impact on music and the wider world. Her posthumous album Lioness: Hidden Treasures features unreleased songs and demo recordings. Nas features her on “Cherry Wine,” a track off of his new album Life Is Good.
Amy Winehouse was a musical genius and an iconoclast in art and life.
We cherish her ongoing legacy.
Donate to The Amy Winehouse foundation here.