Amy Winehouse

Much can be said about the late Amy Winehouse, one of the U.K.’s flagship vocalists during the 2000s. The British press and tabloids seemed to focus on her rowdy behavior, heavy consumption of alcohol, and tragic end, but fans and critics alike embraced her rugged charm, brash sense of humor, and distinctively soulful and jazzy vocals. In October 2003, her Platinum-selling breakthrough album, Frank, elicited comparisons ranging from Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan to Macy Gray and Lauryn Hill. Interestingly enough, despite her strong accent and vernacular, one can often hear aspects of each of these singers’ vocal repertoire in Winehouse’s voice. Nonetheless, her allure had always been her songwriting—almost always deeply personal but best known for its profanity and brutal candor. One month after Winehouse won Best Female Artist at The BRIT Awards in February 2007, Universal released Back To Black in the U.S. The LP charted higher than any other American debut by a British female recording artist before it, and it remained in the Top Ten for several months, selling a million copies by the end of that summer.