No longer just a grammy-winning retro-soul singer, long after she is gone, Amy Winehouse is a subculture on her own. With her eccentric makeup, iconic outfits, her whiskey-soaked voice and heartbreaking lyrics, her troubled personal life and her carefree personality that never cared for the norms that bound her - Amy is now looked at one of the most influential voices of the 2000s, not merely an artist gone too soon.
Amy Winehouse wearing roses in her hair while performing at the V Festival in Telford, England, August 2008. It's a lesser known fact that she disliked red roses due to superstition and got a 'bad feeling' from them.
There are countless platforms that revisit her legacy. The most recent one is at the Design Museum in London called ‘Amy: Beyond The Stage’, an exhibition which explores Winehouse through her teenage diaries, handwritten song lyrics and clothes. Amy was often portrayed in the media as a scatty, spoilt singer who found fame and let drugs astray her off the path to live a long, aspirational life. But the new exhibition shows a human side to the girl reduced to media fodder with a list of things she wanted to be when she was little. At 16, she had dreams like any young girl of her age: to own a large shoe collection, to have hair like Marilyn Monroe’s and to be photographed by the legendary David LaChapelle. Aspirations that proved she was careful, focussed and wanted to be successful in life. Aspirations that take away from the narrative that Winehouse wasn’t serious about her career and life choices. It gives a peek into what happens when empathy and support is taken away completely from the lives of those who need it the most.
Here is what you can expect from the Amy: Beyond The Stage exhibition at the Design Museum in London: https://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/amy-beyond-the-stage
Amy Winehouse struggled deeply with issues of self-esteem, her addiction consumed her whole and her difficult relationships added to her misery. Things that could supposedly happen to anyone, happened to her too. But, because she was always so critically written about, misspoken to and judged so often, it made it difficult for her to recover from her habits. She said, “Fame is like terminal cancer, I wouldn't wish it on anyone.”
Amy Winehouse at her last real live show in Belgrade, Serbia on 18 June 2011.
It is astonishing then, how someone who struggled to be liked all her 20s and died of alcohol poisoning at 27 has now become a symbol of hope for many young girls around the world with the Amy Winehouse Foundation. Amy Winehouse became part of the cultural phenomenon that is ‘27 Club’, which is a list of talented artists who died before their time at the age of 27, including Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Kobain.
27 Club graffiti in Tel Aviv depicting several members of the club.
Winehouse continues to inspire all things jazz, fashion, makeup and design. Here are some songs of her’s that we are listening to on loop at the Ikka Dukka studio to celebrate the life that she lived and the people she loved, instead of dwelling on the tragedy that was losing her too soon. For she was a girl in need of compassion much before she was a musical icon and in her own words, “Every bad situation is a blues song waiting to happen ''.
Loving is a losing game:
Amy Winehouse’s soulful duet with Tony Benett, Body and Soul:
Tears Dry on Their Own