Much can be said about the late Amy Winehouse, one of the U.K.'s flagship vocalists during the 2000s. The 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.
Her platinum-selling breakthrough album, Frank (2003), 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 those singers' vocal repertoire in Winehouse's own voice. Nonetheless, her allure had always been her songwriting.
Following Winehouse's debut, the accolades and inquiring interviews appeared concurrently in the press with her tempestuous public life. Several times she showed up to her club or TV performances too drunk to sing an entire set. In 2006, her management company finally suggested that she enter rehab for alcohol abuse, but instead, she dumped the company and transcribed the ordeal into the U.K. Top Ten hit "Rehab," the lead single for her second, critically acclaimed album, Back to Black.
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.
Unfortunately, the next four years were filled with drama, disappointment, and very little music. Winehouse was found dead in her Camden, London apartment on July 23, 2011. The coroner's report, delivered three months later, revealed that her blood alcohol content had reached a potentially fatal level.
Nearly two months after her death, Winehouse's first posthumous appearance was released on Tony Bennett's Duets II, where she dueted with Bennett on "Body and Soul." Near the end of 2011, her family's foundation announced the release of Lioness: Hidden Treasures, a posthumous compilation featuring recordings from throughout her career.