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Anniversary of death of Amy Winehouse includes film and art exhibits

Amy Winehouse.Amy Winehouse by photographer Fionn Kidney; taken in 2008.

Amy Winehouse Tributes

The calendar has just passed July 23, 2015, the four-year anniversary of the death of haunting-voiced U.K. singer Amy Winehouse and her loss continues to be felt.  There will be tributes to her, though the biggest may have already been paid by her father, Mitch, who within a year after her death had published a book about his daughter titled Amy, My Daughter.

Mitch Winehouse also tried to contact her through a spiritualist and believes that he did.  He says he misses his daughter each day and that writing the book was an attempt to deal with some of the grief he felt. Barbara Ellen in the Guardian wrote that the book “amounts to a love letter to their close-knit Jewish London family, their shared love of jazz, and Amy in all her manifestations.”

A documentary about her life, and her rise and fall, Amy: The Girl Behind the Name, from director Asif Kapadia, was released in the U.K. on July 3, six weeks after its debut at the Cannes Film Festival.  For a specialty doc the $7 million in box office it has done is considered extremely good.  It’s the highest grossing documentary of 2015 and has received critical acclaim.

Mitch Winehouse, however, said the film is not an accurate account.  He insists it gives the impression she’d been abandoned by loved ones in the final 3 years of her life, and says that is not true.  The documentary, he maintains, cut out interviews of himself (just 3 of many were used), her boyfriend, and others, that would have shown she had support during those years.  He intends to make his own documentary to set the record straight.

Tributes to her include the opening of two art exhibits at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco.  Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait is an exhibit of many of her personal artifacts, and You Know I’m No Good, titled after a song of hers, consists of work inspired by Winehouse and her music from artists Rachel Harrison, Jennie Ottinger and Jason Jägel.

Winehouse: battled addiction

Winehouse had been drug free for some 3 years and hadn’t taken a drink in weeks before her relapse in her North London home in 2011. Her bodyguard believes she had been drinking for 3 days and at the time of her death the police called it “unexplained” but subsequent tests found she died of alcohol poisoning.

She had a history of battling drug and alcohol addiction and her best known song was Rehab, one that for many addicts became an anthem for their struggles. She had other troubles in her life, including a failed marriage, but the slender singer was forever popular with fans, hundreds of whom gathered outside her home and held a candlelight vigil when news spread about her death.

At the time of Amy’s death tributes poured in from others also in entertainment, including Lady Gaga, Leann Rimes, Demi Moore, Rihanna, Nicki MInaj, rapper Big Boi, Usher, then-17 year-old Justin Bieber and the octogenarian Tony Bennett. Bennett had recorded the jazz standard Body and Soul with Winehouse for an album called Duets II, released three months after her passing.  His words upon her death were poignant:

“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,” Bennett wrote. “An artist of immense proportions.”

Mitch Winehouse and Amy’s mother, Janis, still mark the anniversaries of her death with Jewish prayers and by lighting a candle for their daughter. When she died, Winehouse joined Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain as iconic musicians who died at the age of 27.

As are the others, Amy Winehouse is missed.


About the Author

Marcus Hondro
Marcus Hondro

Actor, writer, father, gadfly, ‘Nucks fan.

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