This year, Amy Winehouse would have turned 40. It’s been 10 years since her death, but the life and tragic fate of the talented singer still captivate audiences. A biopic about her is in the works, and the choice of the lead actress has already shocked Amy’s fans.
Will the film succeed under these circumstances? That’s still up in the air. Meanwhile, get ready for the movie by learning some lesser-known facts about Amy to later fact-check the biopic’s creators.
She Didn’t Always Want to Be a Singer
Believe it or not, Amy Winehouse didn’t always aspire to be a performer. She once found inspiration in the simple life and dreamed of being a roller-skating waitress like in the movie “American Graffiti.” Her first job was as a celebrity reporter for the World Entertainment News Network.
Her Grandmother Introduced Her to Jazz
Amy’s grandmother Cynthia used to play her Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Tony Bennett, and pianist Thelonious Monk. According to zoomboola, that’s how Amy fell in love with jazz. Years later, in one interview, the now-famous singer would recall how pop music from the charts seemed fake compared to jazz. That’s why she decided to write her own “true” songs: “Even if it’s a sad song, it has a climax, which sets it apart from the pop hits of those years.”
She Formed a Rap Group at Age 10
Kids come up with cool ideas all the time, and Amy Winehouse was no exception. At the age of 10, she and her best friend Juliette Ashby formed a rap group called Sweet’n’Sour. Inspired by the pioneering female rap group Salt-N-Pepa, they even recorded a few tracks in a real studio, thanks to Ashby’s dad. As they grew up, they remained close friends and even shared an apartment in Camden, Amy Winehouse’s favorite London neighborhood. Juliette also became a singer.
She Almost Made It into a Bond Movie
In 2008, Amy Winehouse nearly became part of a James Bond film. She was asked to write a song for “Quantum of Solace,” the 22nd movie in the 007 series. However, she couldn’t fulfill her contract due to personal issues. The franchise’s producer Barbara Broccoli was very disappointed, saying, “Amy was emotionally fragile, so imagine the touching material she could have created given her emotional depth.”
Prince Was a Fan of Hers
During an interview in 2007, Amy Winehouse learned that Prince wanted to perform with her. He even covered her hit “Love is a Losing Game.” The artists planned to record a new duet, but those plans never materialized.
She Founded the Record Label “Lioness Records”
In 2009, Amy Winehouse started her own label to support her goddaughter Dionne Bromfield, who was just 13 at the time. The label is still active today and has contracts with several artists close to Amy, such as Juliette Ashby, her backup singer Zalon, and Liam Bailey.
She Had an Unusual Nickname
Amy didn’t just randomly include the word “lioness” in her studio’s name. It was actually a nickname given to her by her grandmother Cynthia. She even had a pendant with the name.
Amy Winehouse’s First Manager Was Linked to the Spice Girls
At 19, Winehouse signed a contract with manager Nick Godwin from 19 Entertainment, a company founded by Simon Fuller, the man behind the show Pop Idol and the management of the Spice Girls. Godwin later said that Winehouse “wasn’t someone who wanted to be a pop star.” She fired him in 2006.
Amy Winehouse Was a Guitarist
People remember Winehouse as an exceptionally talented singer and songwriter, but she could also play the guitar quite well. She secretly borrowed her brother’s red Fender Stratocaster when she was 11 or 12 and eventually bought her own acoustic guitar. Amy taught herself but learned enough chords to accompany herself and write songs.
She Got Her First Tattoo as a Teenager
Amy was known for her vintage tattoos; she had a total of 14. Her first tattoo was of Betty Boop, a character from 1930s cartoons, which she got on her back when she was 15.
Her Final Demos Were Destroyed
A few weeks before her death in July 2011, Winehouse had finished writing songs for her third album. She even booked studio time with producers Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson for later that year. Those demos will never see the light of day because David Joseph, the boss of Universal Music UK, destroyed the recordings, calling it a moral obligation.