Dead Person You Should Know: Amy Winehouse

  • Birth Name:  Amy Jade Winehouse

  • Date of Birth: September 14, 1983

  • Date of Death: July 23, 2011

  • Cause of Death: Alcohol Poisoning

  • Spouse: Blake Fielder-Civil (2007-2009)

Amy Winehouse is a well-known English singer and songwriter.  She was a misunderstood person.  She was blunt and straight to the point, which many people perceived as rude because she never sugarcoated anything.  As an artist, that can be a good quality to have because after all, it is her art.  She was also well-known for the wrong reasons.  If you ask most people what they think of when they hear “Amy Winehouse,” they think of rehab and drug/alcohol abuse.  She did struggle with many obstacles, but a person is more than their mistakes.  I admire her ability to be direct and honest, and her lyrics amaze me no matter how many times I replay a song.  

Winehouse had an extremely soulful voice and was referred to as the best contemporary jazz artist for her debut album Frank.  She was also popular for her unique style.  She wore her hair ratted into a “beehive” with long waves and thick winged eyeliner.  When Frank debuted in 2005, she became quite popular extremely fast.  She had mentioned before that she didn’t want to be famous because she didn’t know if she could handle all the press and the media.  She only ever cared about her music, not fame.  She married Blake Fielder-Civil in May of 2007.  He later admitted to introducing her to crack cocaine and heroin.  The lovers were toxic for each other but couldn’t stay away.  They divorced in 2009 while he was in prison.  She told a magazine that she still loved him and that he was the male version of her.  Winehouse wanted him to move into her new house with her.  Unfortunately, she never got her wish.  In July of 2011, she died at age 27 of alcohol poisoning.  It’s a shame when people say “What a waste of talent” because it wasn’t a waste.  It was sad that she died so young, but she put her heart and soul into her music.  Anyone can get a sense of that just by listening to a couple of her songs.  Her music was not a waste.  It’s there as a way to honor and remember a great artist.

While Winehouse made reckless personal decisions, her music never failed.  I was only 11 years old when she passed.  I had never listened to her music until about three years after she passed.  Her lyrical ability is outstanding, and I love listening to her music because it tells a story.  Anyone can feel what she was going through at that time based on the tempo, lyrics, and music she created.  She was such a talented artist, I would give anything to see her perform live.  A person is more than their mistakes. There is no doubt that Winehouse was an incredible artist and much more than her mistakes.

18 year old student at Harry S. Truman High School.

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