The year 2007 was the year of the good, the bad and the ugly for Amy Winehouse. With her trademark beehive hairdo, soulful vibe and retro production, its easy to see why she fascinated music lovers in need of rehab for the soul.
And she delivered. In more ways than one as her latest album Back to Black proved to be a platinum plus introduction to fans who had yet to discover Amy in her early Hip-Hop, jazzy form on her freshman effort Frank. Even rap fans had to bow down as the singer received co-signs from Prince, George Michael and The Roots ?uestlove as well as Ghostface Killah, who appears on the remix to Winehouses “You Know Im No Good,”and Pharoahe Monch and Jay-Z, both of whom officially expressed their love and respect for Winehouse by showing up on remixes to her hit single “Rehab.”
That song, which detailed Winehouses refusal to take her management companys advice to go to an alcohol rehabilitation center, would go on to be the theme song of the singers year as Back to Black went multi-platinum overseas and in the U.S. and earned the highest debut entry on the Billboard charts by an British female solo artist. Even Amys personal life fell in line as she married her boyfriend Blake Fielder-Civil in a secret ceremony in May.
To many observers, the union was the beginning of a downward spiral for Winehouse, as her personal life gradually overshadowed her professional triumphs. Drug use started to emerge in August when Winehouse nearly died after collapsing from a three-day binge of heroin, ecstasy, cocaine, alcohol and ketamine, a horse tranquilizer. As a result, the singer briefly spent time in rehab, where she was released after five days. Soon after, reports surfaced about a bloody fight between Winehouse and Fielder-Civil after he found her preparing to do drugs in their hotel room. Winehouse later admitted that her husband was in the right for trying to stop her as she proceeded to harm him and herself with cuts and scratches.
The madness of the singers personal demons eventually spilled over into her live shows as Winehouse was noted for showing up late to concerts as well as slurring and forgetting her words while singing. She was later banned from entering the United States after being arrested with her husband in October for possession of marijuana. Winehouse later admitted that she was “duped” into confessing to the crime. And to further insult to injury, photographs of the couple surfaced from the night of the hotel room fight.
While fans suspected that Fielder-Civil had a negative influence on Winehouse, the songbirds mother Janis spoke out against him in hopes her daughter would come around.
“Thank God he’s gone inside,” Janis, Winehouse told Britain’s First magazine about her son-in-laws current stint in jail. “Everyone else can see it, but Amy chooses not to.”
In November, Fielder-Civil was arrested and charged with trying to pervert the course of justice in connection to an alleged assault on a bartender in June. He is currently serving time in jail after bail was denied. The investigation is still pending as Fielder-Civil will spend the Christmas holiday and New Years Day behind bars. According to reports, Winehouse is not involved in the incident.
Janice Winehouse wasnt the only parent speaking out on the couple. Giles Fielder-Civil led efforts to administer some tough love to his famous daughter-in-law by urging fans to quit buying Winehouses records. During an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp. radio, the elder Fielder-Civil revealed that he believed the songstress and his son had used cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin and were in “abject denial” about their problem.
“Perhaps it is time to stop buying records,” said Giles Fielder-Civil, who thinks fans should send a message to Winehouse “that her addiction and her behavior are not acceptable.” “It’s a possibility to send that message.”
As 2007 draws to a close, things dont seem to get any better. Winehouse recently cancelled her remaining tour dates and public appearance for the year under doctors orders as well as being distraught over her husbands incarceration.
Janice Winehouse recently wrote a letter, pleading for her daughter to come home and get some help. The plea comes days after the singer was photographed wearing a red bra and blue jeans as she walked the streets of London in the early hours of the morning.
And while its easy to get caught up in the never-ending twists of the Winehouse Chronicles, lets remember what brought Amy to the table. Winehouse recently confirmed that she will get back in the to work on the follow-up to Back to Black, which is set to be released in 2008. And judging by her six Grammy nominations, Winehouse ends 2007 the same way she entered it being noticed for her music.