It happened a couple of days after I’d moved to London. Not only was I overwhelmed by the big city and still trying to get used to my new home, but I also had to come to terms with the death of my favourite singer under 30.
Her death was hard to comprehend and accept at the time, and it’s still shocking to think about today. It was made especially haunting by her age: 27. She took a lot of inspiration from 60s and 70s artists, and it’s disturbing to consider that she’d lived and ended her life very similarly to some of the greatest music icons that ever lived: Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix.
Although she’d started her short but memorable career as a jazz singer, her second, critically acclaimed album ‘Back to Black’ was very much influenced by the soul music and girl groups of the 60s. Her unique image was also inspired by this decade: her signature beehive hairdo and Cleopatra makeup are reminiscent of the Ronettes, whom she admired.
Amy Winehouse was the quintessential modern pinup girl with her vintage clothing choices and tattoos. Her very recognizable style must have contributed to her success in an age where young people tend to have a very superficial view of musicians. But she possessed an incredible talent, which means that she would have been able to make it in any decade.
Indeed, she might have been born too late. When I watch and listen to her, I tend to imagine her on the stage of Woodstock, next to other legendary artists, in whose ranks she belongs, and whose example she followed when she perished at such a young age.