As a teenager, Amy attended the acclaimed Sylvia Young Theatre School in London. In her scholarship application she wrote 'I want to be remembered for being an actress, a singer, for sell-out concerts and sell-out West End and Broadway shows. For being just… me'.
She was at the school for just two years, but the link with Sylvia Young was not lost – Sylvia personally recommended Amy to audition for the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, her first step towards a career in music.
Winehouse’s first album, Frank, was released in 2003 to great acclaim, and Amy toured to support the album both UK and internationally. The album’s double platinum status, was nominated for two BRIT awards (Best Female Solo Artist and Best Urban Act) and a Mercury Music Prize, and earned Winehouse an Ivor Novello award for her debut single Stronger Than Me. It was also the proceeds from the publishing deal for Frank that allowed her to buy her first flat in Camden, giving her the chance to move into the area she so loved.
Amy performed in many of the music venues around Camden, from local pubs to the Jazz Café. As her career grew so did her performance venues, with the success of her debut album giving her the opportunity to play at Glastonbury and the V Festival.
Amy’s critically acclaimed second album Back to Black (2006) gave her a Top 10 hit in the UK with the song ‘Rehab’, which also earned the singer her second Ivor Novello award. Winehouse also picked up a BRIT award in 2007 for Best Female Solo Artist, as well as a nomination for Best British Album.
When the album was released in the US, it smashed onto the Billboard charts, debuting higher than any British female recording artist in history. It won her five Grammy Awards in 2008, including Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
Amy Winehouse broke the mould of what a female singer was expected to be. Her raw talent, inspired by the jazz greats she had grown up listening to, produced a new and unique sound that changed the landscape of music.
Amy’s life ended tragically in 2011, but her musical legacy lives on, with countless artists, including Adele and Lady Gaga, citing her as an inspiration. Florence Welch (Florence and the Machine) said of Winehouse’s 2008 Glastonbury performance, 'Seeing her up there made me think, wow, there is a place for female singer-songwriters in this world'.
Help us celebrate this iconic artist in her beloved Camden by supporting our crowdfunding campaign to create a street art trail in the streets in which she lived.