Winehouse is Dead, But These Singers Would Be Nowhere Without Her Crazy Ways
By Jay Moon
Amy Winehouse has died. And this time it’s official.
Since Winehouse’s passing yesterday, a long list of newsies, commentators, critics, and blogger types have come forward with the obvious ‘I knew this was going to happen’ summation of the singer’s death at age 27. Yeah, thanks for that.
Over this past year, I’ve been guilty of taking some shots at Winehouse’s deteriorating condition. She even made our Hello, Cleveland! segment a little while back, a dubious honour, indeed.
For all of her troubles and tribulations, Winehouse managed to leave behind a collection of work that was considered quite hefty while she was alive (the albums Frank and Back to Black), and that is no doubt being elevated to the ranks of ‘modern classics’ with her passing.
Unfortunately for Winehouse, it was her battle with drugs and alcohol that helped fuel her creativity, as well as act as inspiration for her songs. She lived hard, played hard, and had the tattoos to prove it. Along the way, though, she did manage to open some doors for others to follow. And now artists who have come to the forefront the past few years and at one point or another have been crowned ‘the next Amy Winehouse’ by fans and critics alike are left with impossible shoes to fill. But maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Let’s face it, at the end of her life Winehouse was a shell of her former self-physically, emotionally, and talent wise. Whatever personal hell Winehouse went through to create the body of work she did, the artists featured below owe her. Big time.
And before I go any further…while Winehouse’s passing is tragic, please don’t forget about the families that are mourning their loved ones lost during the recent events in Oslo. Winehouse is a celebrity who made the choice to live the way she did. The Oslo victims are just that-innocent victims, guilty only of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Australian born, Cilmi was the processed, sculpted, and stylized music industry response to Winehouse’s early success with Frank. She’s had success in the UK, but North American audiences have never really caught on, even though Cilmi was courted by just about every major label Stateside and had all the makings of an international pop star.
Sorry-you’ll have to watch this clip back on YouTube. Click below on the link and you’ll be redirected in a new window.
Duffy probably fits a little more into the Winehouse mold, at least as far as sound goes. Her 2008 album Rockferry had critics giving themselves the award for Over-Use of the Term Blue Eyed Soul for that year, and the song Mercy was all over the place. Duffy is about as cherubic as it gets in the music biz, and the singer has admitted to having a nervous breakdown caused by the success of Rockferry. With a greatly reduced touring and promotional schedule, her follow up, Endlessly, hasn’t quite matched her earlier success. She does, however, have the honour of being called a cunt by the Sex Pistols’ John Lydon backstage at a 2008 awards show, after he reportedly heckled her during an earlier performance.
Adele and Duffy were milling about in the UK during roughly the same time frame, but Adele’s international recognition took a little longer to take hold. Today, Adele is the ruling queen of Brit Soul music. Her first album, 2008’s 19, got people talking. Her second, 2011’s 21, got them buying. For the past year Adele has been a touring machine (with the odd break to allow her voice to recover from laryngitis), and at this point in her career can do no wrong as far as the critics are concerned. Not as squeaky clean as Duffy since she is prone to cursing like a sailor when she really lets loose. Which is one characteristic she definitely shared with Winehouse.