Winehouse was 17 when Island Records signed her to a contract. By the time she was 24, the label and her management had sent her to rehab several times. A YouTube video of her smoking crack was released to The Sun tabloid in 2008, prompting another trip to rehab; she told Rolling Stone later that year that she did drugs the whole time she was under care.
Mercury Prize nominee
Winehouse, pictured at the 2004 Q magazine awards, was nominated for the Mercury Prize for best album in U.K. and Ireland twice: in 2004 for Frank (she lost to Franz Ferdinand) and again in 2007 for Back to Black (The Klaxon's Myths of the Near Futuretook the honor that year.)
Winehouse's talent was often overshadowed by her personal and legal problems. In 2009, she was forced to cancel a gig at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival following an arrest for allegedly assaulting a fan in 2008. She canceled part of a North American tour in Aug. 2007 "due to the rigors of touring," at which time her publicist said, "Amy has been ordered to rest and is working with medical professionals to address her health."
The U.S. embassy in London denied the singer's visa request to attend the 2008 Grammys. A last-minute waiver was issued for her to attend but by that time, show producer Ken Ehrlich had already arranged for Winehouse to perform via a satellite feed that would beam her to Los Angeles. This image is from that session.
Record of the year
After she won five Grammys -- including record and song of the year for "Rehab" -- in 2008, The Hollywood Reporter said that Winehouse had been "crowned as the new queen of pop present."
Winehouse performing "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" with Rolling Stones at the 2007 Isle of Wright festival. In 2008, Stones' guitarist Keith Richards told reporters at the Berlin Film Festival that Winehouse "should get her act together," adding, "apart from that, I have got nothing to say to the b****."
Tony Bennett and Winehouse recorded the Johnny Greene song "Body and Soul" for Bennett's Duets II album. He likened her to jazz singer Dinah Washington and said after her death, "Amy Winehouse was an artist of immense proportions and I am deeply saddened to learn of her tragic passing. She was an extraordinary musician with a rare intuition as a vocalist and I am truly devastated that her exceptional talent has come to such an early end."
Mark Ronson, DJ and producer of many of the songs on the Back to Black album, refused to work with Winehouse again in 2008. The two were slated to record the title track for Quantum of Solace but Ronson canceled the sessions saying, "I'm not sure Amy is ready to work on music yet."
He later said of the Bond gig, "It's really disappointing, of course it is. But at the time Amy was going through some s**t, and now she's doing great, so who cares if we missed the Bond boa."
Ronson was among the mourners at Winehouse's private funeral.
Russell Brand kicked an 11-year heroin habit around the same time he met Winehouse in London's Camden neighborhood. An appreciation written by the actor after her death said, "I was myself at that time barely out of rehab and was thirstily seeking less complicated women so I barely reflected on the now glaringly obvious fact that Winehouse and I shared an affliction, the disease of addiction."
In her own words
"If I died tomorrow, I would be a happy girl," -- Harper's Bazaar, 2010
"Mainly that I'm quite reckless and always throw caution to the wind," -- Rolling Stone, 2007
"The song 'In My Bed' actually came about after I`d had sex with an ex boyfriend. I was like 'Now get out of my bed and take a cab home!.' Then, when he said he had no money, I gave him a tenner and told him goodbye!" -- Blues and Soul Music magazine, 2004
The paparazzi routinely staked out Winehouse's North London apartment. She is seen here in one of her flat's windows in June 2008.
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