Time flies when you create a major legacy in such a short amount of time, because it doesn’t even feel like six years since the late, great Amy Winehouse made her transcendence to heaven.
But what do we really know about the controversial star, except for her publicized transgressions.
In honor of the queen’s 34th birthday, check out these little known facts about Amy Winehouse.
1. A baby-faced Amy Winehouse in 2003.Source:Getty
At age 10, Winehouse was part of a Salt-n-Pepa-inspired rap duo called Sweet ‘n Sour with her best friend. By age 15, she dropped out of school. “I always wrote poetry and stuff like that, so putting songs together wasn’t that spectacular,” she told Rolling Stone.
2. Amy Winehouse at the shortlist announcement for the BRIT Awards 2004.Source:Getty
Pete Doherty, The Libertines’ frontman and ex-fiance of Kate Moss, claimed to have been in love with Winehouse. Doherty alluded to a violent tone in their relationship, a theme that would be revisited with Winehouse’s on-again-off-again lover and husband, Blake Fielder-Civil.
3. Amy at the ‘Nationwide Mercury Music Prize’ 2004.Source:Getty
At just 17, Winehouse signed a contract with Island Records. Her debut album, “Frank,” went platinum and was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, a prestigious award given to British newcomers.
4. Amy Winehouse and Russell Brand at the Q Awards 2006.Source:Getty
Brand was close with Winehouse. The day after her death, The Guardian published an op-ed of his centering around the void of her loss and featuring the sub-headline, “We need to review the way society treats addicts – not as criminals but as sick people in need of care.”
5. Amy performs at Joe’s Pub in NYC in 2006.Source:Getty
Winehouse attributed her sonic departure from “Frank” to “Back to Black” to changing vices from smoking to drinking. “The weed mentality is very defensive, very much like, ‘Fuck you, you don’t know me.’ Whereas the drinking mentality is very ‘Woe is me, oh, I love you, I’m gonna lie in the road for you, I don’t even care if you never even look my way, I’m always gonna love you,'” she said.
6. Amy after receiving the Pop Award for ‘Back to Black’ at the South Bank Show Awards 2007.Source:Getty
Winehouse was close with Nas and the two even ironically shared a birthday. She is featured on his song “Cherry Wine,” which was released after her death.
7. Amy performs on stage at the BRIT Awards 2007.Source:Getty
In conversation with The Guardian, Winehouse admitted to her violent tendencies and susceptibility to love.
The Guardian: To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
Amy Winehouse: Myself for being a self-obsessed dickhead/my boyfriend for punching him often.
TG: What or who is the greatest love of your life?
AW: Falling in love itself.
TG: What does love feel like?
AW: A disease that consumes you eternally.
8. Amy and Blake Fielder-Civil at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2007.Source:Getty
On set with infamously provocative photographer Terry Richardson for a Spin Magazine cover shoot, Winehouse took a glass shard intended as a prop to carve “I love Blake” into her stomach, having been engaged to Fielder-Civil for two weeks at the time.
9. Amy performs for the 50th Grammy Awards ceremony via video link in 2008.Source:Getty
In 2010, Winehouse collaborated with British brand Fred Perry on a collection. When asked if she considered herself a style icon by Harper’s Bazaar, she said, “I don’t think that’s true. I just dress like … I’m an old black man. Sorry! Like I’m an old Jewish black man. I just dress like it’s still the ’50s.” Her interviewer noted that Winehouse was inebriated during the conversation.
10. Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson perform at the BRIT Awards 2008.Source:Getty
Producer Mark Ronson was a good friend of Winehouse and called July 23, 2011 “one of the saddest days of my life” on Twitter. He told Rolling Stone around the time of their collaborations, “Amy looks fucking cool, and she’s brutally honest in her songs. It’s been so long since anybody in the pop world has come out and admitted their flaws, because everyone’s trying so hard to project perfection.”
11. Amy Winehouse with her father Mitch Winehouse in 2008.Source:Getty
Winehouse was raised Jewish by her parents Mitch and Janis, who divorced when she was nine. Amy considered herself a “Daddy’s Girl”—so much so, she had the phrase inked on her left shoulder.
12. Amy having a night out in Camden in 2009.Source:Getty
A bronze life-sized statue of Amy was unveiled in Camden in September 2014 on what would’ve been her 31st birthday. Her father, Mitch, said the commemorative figure was meant to exude “attitude and strength, but also give subtle hints of insecurity.”
13. Amy makes a surprise appearance with Mark Ronson in 2010.Source:Getty
Winehouse had 13 tattoos, with the body art collection beginning as a teen. Many were ’50s inspired: a Betty Boop on her backside, hearts, anchors, pin-ups, horseshoes, and a pocket above her left breast lettered that said “Blake.”
14. Amy’s last performance in 2011.Source:Getty
Winehouse’s last performance could be described as troubling.
In front of 20,000 people in Serbia, Winehouse, noticeably under the influence, gave a shaky-at-best performance, which resulted in booing from the audience and ultimately Winehouse throwing a shoe into the crowd. Nevertheless, when The Guardian asked her, “How would you like to be remembered?” she replied, “As genuine.”
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