“This is not a shrine or a memorial to someone who has died,” writes Alex Winehouse, referring to the exhibition that he and his wife, Riva, have co-curated with the Jewish Museum London about his sister, the late British singer, Amy Winehouse.
Instead, “Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait” is an intimate, sensitive and affectionate portrayal of the singer. It focuses on her passions: music, fashion, London and her family. A more private side of the singer is on show here, as a daughter and sister growing up in what Alex has described as a “typical Jewish north London family.” Visitors get a glimpse into the life of the pre-fame Amy. Her inner turmoil and outward destructive public descent — often played out in an unforgiving tabloid press — are appropriately absent.
Alex and Riva Winehouse had originally approached the museum, located in Camden, north London, just streets away from where Amy lived, with the intention of giving one of her dresses as a loan. The exhibition concept grew from this idea and the family has given unprecedented access to Amy’s personal belongings.
Although the core exhibition takes place on the third floor of the building, the museum foyer is infused with the sound of her distinctive voice coming from large screens that depict both music video footage and stills. Also displayed is an Arrogant Cat dress, a favorite of Amy’s, and known for its appearance in the singer’s 2007 video for her single, “Tears Dry On Their Own.”
Beatles fans in London have Abbey Road, to cross. Now, admirers of the late Amy Winehouse might also have somewhere special for walking.
The Sun reports that there are efforts underway to have a street named after the singer, who died in 2011 at age 27. A new area in King’s Cross is being redeveloped for housing, and locals are being asked to suggest street names for the new neighborhood. Winehouse’s former home is in Camden, which borders King’s Cross.
The singer’s fans, with full support from the Winehouse’s family, are lobbying for one of the roads to be named Winehouse Street. It’s been suggested that Winehouse Way might have more of a ring to it.
Mitch Winehouse, the late singer’s father, who has been busy helming the Amy Winehouse Foundation, said he’d be very proud to have the family name immortalized in this way.
“To think that our surname would be indelibly linked with London through the naming of a street after Amy is remarkable,” he said. “We’re a London family through and through and it would be a tremendous honor if we do become a literal part of the fabric of this great city.”
Amy Winehouse drank “a very large quantity of alcohol” and died a “death by misadventure” a London pathologist declared today. Coroner Suzanne Greenway said that Winenouse “had consumed sufficient alcohol at 416mg per decilitre (of blood) and the unintended consequence of such potentially fatal levels was her sudden and unexpected death.”
Previously no cause had been given for the 27-year-old singer’s July 23 death in her London home, and no illegal drugs were found in her system. The new results come from toxicology tests conducted as part of an inquest by London’s St. Pancras Coroner’s Office and Court.
Winehouse had long struggled with alcohol and drug abuse, and it was previously speculated that she might have died from detoxing too quickly. According to the Guardian, at the time of her death Winehouse had just started drinking again after three weeks of sobriety.
A file meant for Winehouse’s family believed to contain material outlining how Winehouse died last July 23 was brought in to a police station in north London. It had been mailed to a complete stranger after either a clerical error occurred as the package was being addressed, or the postal service delivered it to the wrong place. “Inquiries are now under way to establish the full circumstances of this matter,” said a Scotland Yard spokesman.
This week, in honor of what would have been Amy Winehouse’s 28th birthday, her duet with the legendary crooner Tony Bennett was released. The two recorded the jazz standard “Body and Soul” last March, just four months before Winehouse’s untimely death, to which no definitive cause has been attributed.
In a video about the recording Winehouse looks almost demure in a loose-fitting pink, grey, black and white argyle sweater as she lays down the track with Bennett. Relaxed and healthy-looking, Winehouse says she told “Tone” that she was excited that this particular song had been chosen. “It’s a beautifully written song, and it’s something you can do a lot with.”
Crossposted from Haaretz
The only impressive thing about “My Daughter Amy,” the film about the British Grammy-winning singer Amy Winehouse, who died July 23 at age 27, are the photos of her infancy and childhood. The film, first shown on Britain’s Channel 4 about a year ago, is airing tonight and over the weekend on local Channel 8.
There is a frame of a baby carriage holding a baby with beautiful, flashing eyes, and in the corner of the frame is an odd date, 1992. It was surely a mistake recorded by the video camera of Mitch Winehouse, the singer’s father. This detail is just one that adds to the overall false and forced feel of the film.
On July 23, London police were called to Amy Winehouse’s Camden apartment where they found the bluesy singer-songwriter dead. In addition to the sadness of losing such a talented musician early in her career, there’s a more prosaic tragedy as well. Talking to a Perth newspaper in 2007, the troubled Winehouse said that she dreamed of being a Jewish mother. “In 10 years’ time I’m gonna be looking after my husband and our seven kids. I’d really like to get everyone in one place and sit down and eat a meal together. I would like to uphold certain things, but not the religious side of things, just the nice family things to do. At the end of the day, I’m a Jewish girl.”
For her fans, of which there were many following the release of her sophomore, Grammy-winning album, “Back to Black,” there was a contradiction buried in Winehouse’s persona. She was an attractive icon in part because of her addictions. On tracks like “Rehab” she sang that “they tried to make me go to rehab but I said no, no, no.” In her sultry voice she delivered desultory lyrics punctuated by the couplet, “I don’t ever want to drink again / I just — oooh — I just need a friend.”
The other piece was the hope that Winehouse would clean up before it was too late.
Amy Winehouse, the British, Jewish, hard-living soul singer was found dead today in her North London apartment. She was 27.
Given her age, Winehouse is already being compared to other singers and musicians who died at 27, otherwise known as the “Forever 27 Club.” These include Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones (found dead at the bottom of his swimming pool), Jimi Hendrix (sleeping pills), Janis Joplin (probable heroin overdose), Jim Morrison (heart failure) and Kurt Cobain (suicide by shotgun). The cause of Winehouse’s death is “as yet unexplained,” according to London Police.
Whether Winehouse, best known for her critically acclaimed 2006 album “Back To Black” and songs such as “Rehab” and “Tears Dry on Their Own,” deserves inclusion in this august group solely on account of her age is questionable. Winehouse’s recent performances had been especially disappointing, and she was booed off the stage at a June performance in Belgrade for forgetting her lyrics. She subsequently cancelled what was supposed to be a 12-leg European tour. Tellingly, Wikipedia’s “27 Club” page is currently “protected from editing until disputes have been resolved.”