It’s hard to believe that it has been year today since we lost the fabulously talented Amy Winehouse. I remember the moment well; there was a lot of speculation of her death ruminating around Twitter. Hoaxes on social media websites are not unheard of and, as I couldn’t find any viable source confirming her death, I hoped this would be the case. Then I heard the announcement on the radio – Amy Winehouse had died aged 27 at her home in Camden Square, London.
Due to the very intense lifestyle that Amy had lived, the news wasn’t entirely shocking but to lose her at such a young age, in the prime of her life and career, was saddening and such a loss to music.
I had been quite a late follower of Amy’s. Being aware of the buzz that surrounded her, but the music never really registered on my radar. That was until 2008, when I saw her performance of Love is a Loosing Game at the Brit Awards:-
From that moment, I was hooked. It was refreshing to hear an artist subvert the current chart conventions and hear soulful jazz inspired songs hitting the top spot. I instantly wanted to know more and began delving deeper by exploring her albums. What I liked about Amy was her retro vibe mixed with a sharp observational tenacity. You only have to be out at the weekend in a city centre to see life imitating the art as the lyrics from her song F’ Me Pumps unfold in front of you. She wrote lyrics from the heart but kept them current, combining this with musical production and her appearance that had a nice vintage twist, something reminiscent of The Shirelles, Martha and the Vandellas or The Marvelettes from years gone by.
In this superficial world that we live in, plagued by stories of scandal and celebrity, it’s almost too easy to take Amy Winehouse by face value. Rather than the headlines and hearsay that surrounded her career, let’s remember her for the music. The cannon of work that she has left behind is small but impressive. By those high standards, it is a shame that we will never know just how high her star may have risen to had she have lived longer. Amy Winehouse may be gone but her legacy will live on in her music and the new artists that she will continue to inspire for many years to come.