Brendan Fraser, a cherished young performer in the 1990s, emerged onto the scene alongside fellow A-lister, Matt Damon. It was evident early on that Fraser, with his diverse abilities, was meant for a successful career. He was soon awarded starring roles of his own, frequently depicting wide-eyed novices experiencing the contemporary world. Though he faced challenges in his career, Fraser is now prepared to connect with his admirers and disclose what went terribly awry.
From Jungle To Drop Out
Fraser made a big entrance in the entertainment world during the 1990s, skillfully alternating between comedic and dramatic roles, and generating even higher levels of interest from producers towards him. Nevertheless, almost 20 years after his initial success, Fraser gradually disappeared from public view.
Fraser’s hiatus from the film industry went almost unnoticed by his loyal fans who had become accustomed to seeing him on the big screen for the past fifteen years. They were surprised to realize that he had disappeared from the limelight.
Fraser had become an omnipresent figure in the film industry by 2004, as he had starred in a popular franchise while also featuring in highly-praised dramas.
In that particular year, he was among the famous figures who teamed up for an amazing project that won the Academy Award for ‘Crash’. Having impressed the public on numerous occasions, his admirers were eagerly anticipating his future movie release, but were disappointed to find out that they had to wait for a considerable amount of time.
Life Of A Work Horse
Fraser had produced an impressive volume of work in the brief period he had been employed as a professional. Among the most demanding tasks he encountered was his role in the action-packed movie, “The Mummy.”
Fraser was always bold in taking on daring stunts, and this attitude persisted during his work on The Mummy. Viewers were often amazed to learn about the physical strain that he endured during filming. However, the audience remained unaware that such demanding work was having an impact on Brendan.
Fraser ensured that his resume had a variety of skills, and his ability to adapt to different roles in front of the camera was impressive, which pleased the producers. Only a few possess such agility.
Fraser’s complete immersion into the personas of his movie roles did not prevent him from acquiring numerous similar parts, despite his less recognized performances in distinctly dissimilar characters. He frequently found himself caught up in the Hollywood scene, striving to advance his professional success, which was a challenging predicament.
Out Of The Box
Certain tasks that could potentially contribute to Brendan’s downfall might also aid him in overcoming the restrictions imposed on him by the producers.
Fraser’s first films such as Encino Man and George of the Jungle involved the protagonist experiencing the human world for the first time. As Fraser was keen to experiment with different roles, he gradually received credits in other genres too.
Standing On Top
If an individual perceives their profession is leading towards failure, it’s customary for them to feel hesitant to proceed.
Brendan had a brief hiatus from acting amidst his hectic schedule, but within two years, he had multiple new movies releasing. It was easy to assume he had been working non-stop, especially since he reprised his role in “The Mummy” in 2008. But, for Brendan, he was still fully immersed in the industry.
Bringing Him Back
Fraser made a surprise appearance in a new guest role on “The Affair”, which delighted and impressed his fans with his acting abilities. However, they couldn’t help but question why he was given a minor role despite his evident potential to be a leading man.
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When he started a press tour for the show that same year, the fans’ curiosity about what was happening behind the scenes increased even more. The interviews were notable for a specific reason.
Out Of Sorts
Fraser had an unusual year in 2016 as viewers were surprised to learn that two of his well-known films were being remade without any involvement from him.
The question raised was whether he lacked the ability to manage the movie or purposely stayed away from two projects that he was known for. Fraser’s appearances in the media only made his supporters more concerned.
Heart On His Sleeve
During Fraser’s initial media appearance for The Affair, he gained notoriety for appearing as a former top-tier celebrity who appeared to have passed his prime, which left Brendan feeling disheartened and dejected.
Viewers of the video were unable to comprehend the circumstances surrounding the actor’s condition. In an effort to shed light on the situation, they embarked on a quest to uncover details about his past. However, contrary to their expectations, finding the truth wasn’t a straightforward task.
Rebounding With Wisdom
It would not be unexpected if Fraser’s career had ended due to the widespread use of his 2016 interview as a source of internet jokes.
After the scandalous event of “The Affair”, Fraser retreated to obscurity and had little work to show for more than five years. However, his career rebounded this year, and he emerged on the screen once again, solidifying his reputation as an experienced actor rather than a mere heartthrob.
Fraser finds his New York home particularly appealing because his three sons live nearby with their mother, located just across the border in Connecticut.
Fraser encountered his former spouse in the year 1993, however, their relationship started to deteriorate after close to ten years of matrimony and having three offspring. Although Fraser didn’t attempt to conceal his separation, he also didn’t allow it to turn into a turbulent situation in the media, unlike several other high-profile separations.
Speculation Runs Amok
After Fraser’s unfortunate 2016 interview, speculation surrounded his divorce, with fans believing that he was unable to overcome his heartbreak, even though it had been nine years since their separation was finalized.
To the best of their knowledge, it seemed like the sole logical reason behind his disheartened demeanor during his media appearances, but in reality, they were mistaken. Nonetheless, Fraser wasn’t prepared to speak out until he had recovered.
At Loss’s Mercy
Although Brendan Fraser had consistent work over the past 10 years, it was a challenging experience. When he was compelled to take part in a press tour for “The Affair,” which featured his character for only three episodes, he was evidently in no condition to communicate with the audience.
However, his despondent demeanor had a straightforward explanation as his mother had passed away just a few days ago. Despite this painful loss, Fraser was not even mentally prepared to call off the interview.
Feeling Time’s Arrow
During his recent interview with GQ, Fraser remembered how he sat anxiously on his stool, waiting for the interview to start, and how he felt burdened by the passing of time. Fraser revealed that he had recently lost his mother.
“I believe I was grieving, but I didn’t comprehend the depth of my emotions. With time having passed, he recounted those hurtful memories and said, “I wasn’t entirely familiar with the procedures, and it made me feel like I had become elderly. It was a shock to see how things are done now.”
Bouncing Back To Life
Fraser was understandably impacted by the loss of his mother, as anyone would be, however, he was determined to not let his sorrow hinder his efforts of renewing his career.
Actually, most of his break was already over by then, and in 2016 Fraser was becoming more successful again. The actor had a difficult ten years, despite having been considered one of the most promising candidates for leading male roles in the early 90s.
Bursting The Scene
From the moment he appeared on the screen, Brendan Fraser’s star was bright. In his first noteworthy film position, “School Ties,” he presented a new group of young male actors who exhibited the potential to become top-tier celebrities.
Fraser was taken aback by the rapid increase in demand for him. He swiftly moved from being a supporting actor to the lead in his own films. It was evident that Fraser possessed just as much talent when acting as he did with his attractive appearance.
Life In The Jungle
Fraser was chosen to lead the film “George of the Jungle” after the success of the movie “Encino Man.” Despite the vastly different environments of the two films, the character remained fundamentally the same.
Undoubtedly, there was an additional advantage to the movie with George donning a revealing costume that showcased a lot of his skin. Looking back, Fraser realizes that he was in the prime of his physical fitness, but that wasn’t a constant state for him.
As Brendan reached the end of his 30s, he discovered that the demanding labor that he had always vigorously pursued was having a negative impact on his physical health.
After the fact, he realizes that his eagerness to accept any task given to him caused him to become irrelevant as he got older. His consistent desire to do dangerous stunts played a significant role in his decision to pull back from the public eye, even though he didn’t feel like he had much of a choice.
Loose At The Seams
Fraser’s large physique played a significant role in making him a desirable action hero. However, as he grew older and continued to exert his physical strength during filming, he realized that his body was having difficulty recovering from the strain and injuries.
Initially, he found out that he needed to undergo a back surgical procedure to alleviate the intense nerve discomfort he was going through. As a consequence of the surgery, Fraser was obliged to go on a hiatus.
Increasing The Load
Fraser had overburdened his body during his youth, which resulted in numerous health issues. Consequently, he needed multiple surgeries to rectify these problems.
After an unsuccessful initial back surgery, he underwent another one just a year later. Despite his optimism about the second surgery, it was not enough to solve all of his problems, as it was just the beginning of a long journey.
Wiser Than His Years
Fraser was undergoing medical treatments usually reserved for individuals much older than him.
Typically, individuals don’t undergo knee replacement surgery until they reach their 70s. However, Fraser faced the need for partial knee replacements before even reaching his early 40s, as it was the only solution to resume his normal mobility. Despite having undergone two previous surgeries, his back still posed complications for him. In light of this, further modifications will be necessary for him in the future.
Finding His Voice
The repair of his larynx, also referred to as vocal folds, was one of the last surgeries he underwent in the series.
There are several factors that can necessitate voice repairs, particularly for stage performers, who are susceptible to calluses from excessive use that can result in severe hoarseness. Vocal surgery was also undergone by Julie Andrews, another well-known performer. Fraser has chosen not to disclose the details of the procedure, but his recent performances have not shown any negative impact.
Making A Recovery
Overall, Brendan spent a majority of his time in the hospital rather than outside of it. It took almost seven years for him to fully recover, which made it challenging for Fraser to handle numerous significant responsibilities.
Amidst that identical span, he was in the process of separating from his spouse, which overwhelmed the celebrity with more emotional distress. Although it’s reasonable that Fraser was going through a challenging phase, the reality is that the issues had begun way earlier.
Fraser talks about the scene from Looney Toons: Back in Action in which he hits himself in the face in his GQ interview. The audience found the scene amusing and self-referential, since the actor was struggling with portraying a character who is his own stuntman.
He clarifies that the incident that motivated him to record that particular scene initiated during the production of the Superman film featuring Brandon Routh.
Blessing In Disguise
Before the remakes that came out in this century, young male actors often desired to play the role of Superman, despite the belief that it brought bad luck based on the experiences of its most famous actors.
Fraser was among the potential candidates for the lead role in the upcoming movie, which was initially planned to be directed by Brett Ratner. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, the movie was never made under Ratner’s direction. Although it was a setback for everyone involved in the production, for Fraser, the disappointment was more profound because he had personally invested in it.
New Lease On Work
Although Fraser was faced with setbacks that caused him to move away from the work he was passionate about for a long time, he is truly enthusiastic about his new, more mature responsibilities. Fraser is currently the lead actor in Trust, a television show that depicts the abduction of John Paul Getty III.
Fraser is not the sole prominent personality who is featuring in the show, as he is collaborating with multiple other renowned Hollywood celebrities such as Donald Sutherland and Hilary Swank, who won an Academy Award.
Keeping To Himself
Despite being pleased with his career’s resurgence, Fraser clings to the rural retreat he bought during difficult times.
Unlike many stars of his caliber, Fraser prefers the quiet solitude of Westchester County in New York, where he has land for activities like raising and riding horses, as well as archery. It seems the many stunts he performed in his younger years have paid off, even though they nearly ended his career.
Cherry On Top
Fraser explained his feelings after the film fell through to GQ, “You feel like: ‘I didn’t measure up. Oh, I failed.’ And the truth is, you didn’t. That’s erroneous. That’s wrong. It’s not true. You didn’t fail. You’re not…”
“But even if you—if like, as I sit here and say that to you right now, I feel like, ‘Well, no, no, the proof’s right there.’” Actors learn to develop a thick skin. There was a reason why Fraser took the disappointment so hard.
Finally Letting Go
As Fraser eventually revealed in his telling 2018 GQ interview, before it went to press, he had a confession to make. The depression he’d suffered from during his lost years stemmed from a harrowing incident that had occurred in 2003.
During a lunch thrown by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the same group that puts on the Golden Globes, Fraser was touched inappropriately on his bottom by the then president, Philip Berk. Fraser was traumatized by the moment.
Horse With A Name
While Brendan was filming Texas Rising, which would debut on the History Channel in 2015, he came upon a horse in Mexico that needed a little extra love.
“Without pretending that the animal is a human,” Fraser told GQ, “he looked like he needed help. Like: Get me out of here, man.” Fraser was inspired by the way this horse, Pecas, meaning freckles, was so obviously bullied by the other horses, that he took it upon himself to rescue him.
Cogs In A Machine
Fraser had other plans for the horse. Though he had a farm all prepared for him once the horse disembarked, he was hoping the horse might be something his sons enjoyed.
Fraser also revealed in that interview that his eldest son is autistic, but his two younger brothers have always banded together for his care. “[E]ver since they were small, one was always the spokesperson and the other was the enforcer.” Fraser was ready to put his plan to work.
Riding High On Silver
Though Fraser hopes that his eldest son Griffen might one day ride Pecas, he also saw that helping to care for the horse was extremely therapeutic for his son.
“There’s something good that happens between the two of them. And even if he doesn’t ride him, just give him a brush. The horse loves it, the repetitive motion that kids on the spectrum have that they love. And it just works… ” Fraser explained to the magazine.
HFPA Answers The Call
After Fraser’s revelation regarding Philip Berk, The HFPA released a counter-statement that read, “The HFPA stands firmly against sexual harassment and the type of behavior described in this article…”
“Over the years we’ve continued a positive working relationship with Brendan, which includes announcing Golden Globe nominees, attending the ceremony and participating in press conferences. This report includes alleged information that the HFPA was previously unaware of and at this time we are investigating further details surrounding the incident.”
Searching For Justic
Despite the earlier statement that the HFPA released immediately following the publication of the interview, Fraser was unimpressed by the conclusions drawn after the association began an investigation into the incident.
They wrote, “Although it was concluded that Mr. Berk inappropriately touched Mr. Fraser, the evidence supports that it was intended to be taken as a joke and not as [an] advance.” Fraser responded to GQ once more, “I don’t get the joke…I’m the only one who would know where I was touched on my body.
Hiding Their Cards
After the HFPA publicized the results of the investigation, they asked Fraser to sign off on it, which required him to accept that nothing had really happened, but they refused to show him their full report.
Despite claiming they want Fraser to heal, he had nothing but criticism for their actions. “Can I please see this report? What is it?” Fraser asked. “They commissioned an investigation. They received their report. And they’re not giving any details about it, and they’re not giving up the report itself.”
Fighting The Good Fight
Fraser isn’t ready to give up, even though his saga hasn’t yet come to a satisfying conclusion.
Even if the HFPA isn’t ready to disavow Philip Berk, Fraser has begun to publicly call for him to step down from the association, but his hopes aren’t too high. “I think I’m just the first brick in the path.” he explained to GQ. “Maybe someone else will put another brick down and the path will continue on. I don’t know.”
Though it took him 15 years to make the incident public, as more women came forward with their own harrowing tales of their treatment at the hands of powerful Hollywood men, Fraser was ready to speak out.
He had told only a handful of people after it occurred, but now he wanted to let the whole story be told in order to keep moving forward. Unburdened by the story he kept to himself for so long, Fraser feels lighter and happier than ever.
In July 2011, the world got news that award-winning singer Amy Winehouse had been found dead in her home in Camden Town, London. Winehouse, who had long struggled with substance abuse, feared she would one day join the 27 Club alongside many other famous stars who passed at the same young age. Amy was continually trying to better herself and face her demons, but somehow always found herself back in the dark places many feared would one day end up killing her. Unfortunately, her fears became true and, at 27 years old, the world lost a truly remarkable star. This is the story of Amy Winehouse with pictures you may have never seen in the years before, or after, her death.
Amy on the Big Screen
Amy, the documentary film directed by Asif Kapadia, was released in 2015 — four years after Amy’s tragic passing. The film portrayed Amy as a “fragile Jewish girl,” who took the wrong path toward addiction, as well as an eating disorder.
Moreover, the film highlighted how the people around her who should have helped her with her problems, did not. The film was reviewed as “brilliant,” “heartbreaking,” “a tragic masterpiece,” and “unmissable.” In fact, Amy won the 2016 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, as well as a Grammy and a BAFTA.
Her Early Days
In September 1983, Amy Winehouse was born to proud parents Mitch and Janice Winehouse. Together with her older brother, Alex, the family moved to Southgate, London, and Amy Winehouse attended Sylvia Young Theater School before moving schools at the age of 15.
Amy Winehouse tragically died at the age of 27 in 2011, but seven years on, we take a look back at the incredible talent of Winehouse who, sadly, faced more troubles and demons than she could handle.
It was Amy’s grandmother who suggested Amy attend the Theater School having spotted her talents from an early age. In fact, it seems music ran through the Winehouse family, with her grandmother being a singer and her uncles being professional jazz musicians.
In her later life, Winehouse became known for her mix of electrical genres including soul, rhythm and blues, and jazz. It was her vocal range that led her to the road of musical success and the winner of multiple awards.
A Natural Talent
At the age of 14, Amy bought her own guitar and began writing music soon after. She also began singing with a local group called the Bolsha Band — and in 2000, she became the featured female vocalist with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra.
However, it was her best friend, soul singer Tyler James, who eventually sent her demo tape to record labels in hopes of getting Amy Winehouse noticed. One record label that was interested was Simon Fuller’s 19 Management and, in 2002, Amy was paid $330 a week against future earnings.
There Was No Missing Her Talent
However, Darcus Beese, her future A&R representative at Island, soon learned who Amy was. Although her record label was keeping her a secret, Beese was shown Winehouse by accident when the manager of The Lewinson Brothers showed him some productions of his clients.
Amy Winehouse was featured as the key vocalist and Beese became determined to find out who she was when the manager told him he was not allowed to say. Upon doing so, Beese introduced Winehouse to his boss, Nick Gatfield, and the young artist was signed to Island.
In 2003, Amy Winehouse’s debut album Frank was released. Winehouse co-wrote every song on the album, and the record was a hit in the UK, winning positive reviews.
Moreover, the album was nominated for the 2004 Mercury Prize Award and, together with her producer Salaam Remi, the pair won the Ivor Novello Award for the Best Contemporary Song for “Stronger Than Me.” However, when speaking of the album, Winehouse said she was “only 80 percent” behind it because Island Records made decisions she did not agree with.
Time to Herself
The man who first scouted Amy, Nick Shymansky was hardly older than she when he was tasked with wrangling her. He explained in a recent interview when he first saw the clouds gathering over her.
“I realize that, after the final tour of [debut album] Frank, it was the first time in six or seven years when she wasn’t really active.” With time on her hands and nothing on her calendar, Shymanksy said that Amy began to drink.
Back to Black
Speaking of his daughter’s passion for music, Mitch Winehouse explained in Amy, My Daughter how Amy would get her songs on a CD and play them in his taxi so people could hear her music.
Moreover, in 2006, her demo tracks, including “Rehab,” were played on Mark Ronson’s New York radio show on East Village Radio, and fans waited to hear these on her second album. “Back to Black” was released in October 2006, with Salaam Remi and Ronson producing the entire album, which was completed in five months.
Hitting the Big Time
Back to Black went to number one on the UK Album Charts and entered number seven on the Billboard 200 in the US. Meanwhile, it was the best-selling album in the UK in 2007, having sold 1.85 million copies throughout the year. TIME magazine named “Rehab” the Best Song of 2007.
The song had reached the top ten in both the UK and the US and, speaking of the song and of Amy, writer Josh Tyrangiel said, “What she is mouthy, funny, sultry, and quite possibly crazy.”
The Amy Winehouse Look
In conjunction with the release of Back to Black, Amy embarked on a 14-gig tour beginning in February 2007. Amy had become known for her hits such as “Rehab,” and for her collaboration with Mark Ronson on the song “Valerie.”
Meanwhile, Amy had her own distinguishable style — her beehive hairstyle, winged eye-liner, and provocative tattoos made her stand out from other artists during that time. However, people were not warming up to Amy Winehouse, and her tours were not going as well as she had planned.
Alarm Bells Ringing
In November 2007, Amy embarked on yet another tour. Her opening night of a 17-date tour was faced with boos and walkouts at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England.
Speaking of this night, a critic for the Birmingham Mail said that it was “one of the saddest nights of my life…I saw a supremely talented artist reduced to tears, stumbling around the stage and, unforgivably, swearing at the audience.” Moreover, a fan at her Hammersmith Apollo performance said that Amy “looked highly intoxicated throughout.”
It Was More Than Just Singing
Following doctors’ orders to rest, the remaining dates of her tour were canceled. While the statement from the concert promoter explained that “the rigors involved in touring and the intense emotional strain that Amy has been under in recent weeks” was the reason it was canceled, Amy’s father Mitch delved further.
In 2012, Mitch Winehouse wrote a book, Amy, My Daughter. In his book, he spoke of his daughter’s nervousness before public performances, and this was seen further in the film documentary, Amy.
Toxic People Around Her
The documentary highlighted Amy’s early life and her road to success. However, it seems that with all the success came many troubles for the talented star, and this affected Amy in many ways, allegedly leading to her death.
The documentary spoke of her tumultuous relationship with her father, and her toxic relationship with Blake Fielder-Civil. The couple had an on-off relationship and eventually married in 2007, only to divorce two years later in 2009. Unsurprisingly, neither of their families were pleased or supportive of their initial union.
Creeping Towards Midnight
As the negative aspects of Amy’s relationship began to take their toll, Nick Shymansky especially had a front-row seat to exactly what Amy was getting into. The combination of losing her grandmother and being dumped left Amy grieving.
Shymanky shared how she began to call him in the middle of the night, clearly under the influence, and all he could do was drive around to the pubs that were still open in order to try and find her.
And She Said No
As revealed in the documentary, there seemed to have been one final moment where maybe they could have changed the course of Amy’s short life. Shymanksy decided he needed to get Amy into rehab, a decision with which her father seemed to agree.
But, Amy insisted she wouldn’t go until her father said she should go to her face. However, once he was looking into his daughter’s eyes, he knew he couldn’t push her into it.
Bouncing Back and Forth
One of the things that set Amy off the most shortly before her big break was when Blake left her for an old girlfriend. That was, of course, until Amy hit it big. After the release of Back to Black, it seemed the entire world wanted a piece of Amy, especially her former beau, Blake.
Once Amy’s face was plastered on every magazine, Blake came crawling back to her, and to Amy’s detriment, she took him back with open arms.
Life Behind the Lyrics
Amy was nothing but honest, both in her music and in the interviews she did to talk about her work.
Shortly after she became a household name the world over, she gave an interview with CNN, sharing, “And when the guy I was seeing went back to his ex-girlfriend I didn’t really –I didn’t have anything to go back to, so I guess I went back to a very black few months, doing silly things as you do when you’re 22 and in love.”
Blake Never Helped the Problem
Amy admitted that she could sometimes get violent towards Blake, and the pair were photographed looking bloodied and bruised in 2007. Although they denied claims that it was because of a fight, both Winehouse’s parents and in-laws reported their continual concerns that the two might commit suicide.
Moreover, Blake’s father wanted fans to boycott Winehouse’s music following their marriage. However, many blamed Fielder-Civil for Amy’s substance abuse since he was quoted in a British tabloid saying he introduced the musician to these substances.
A Doomed Marriage
From 2008 to 2009, however, Blake Fielder-Civil was imprisoned for trying to pervert the course of justice, as well as other charges. During this time Winehouse was spotted with actor Josh Bowman in early 2009 on a vacation in Saint Lucia and claimed she was “in love again” without the need for substance abuse.
Moreover, she said that “for the time being I’ve just forgotten I’m even married,” but Blake had not. Winehouse received papers, which Fielder-Civil’s solicitor had said were divorce proceedings based on a claim of adultery.
The End of Blake and Amy
Regardless of the divorce claims, Amy was quoted in March 2009 saying, “I still love Blake and I want him to move into my new house with me—that was my plan all along … I won’t let him divorce me. He’s the male version of me, and we’re perfect for each other.”
That was not enough for the pair to stay together and their divorce was finalized in August 2009. Moreover, that was still not enough to help Amy combat her troubles with substance abuse and addiction.
Something She Lived With
Her family believed that it was the death of her beloved grandmother in mid-2006 that set Amy off into addiction, but in 2005 she had also gone through a period of substance abuse and dramatic weight loss which was evident to many.
Moreover, the young artist had admitted in an interview that she had problems with self-harm, depression, and eating disorders. A US reporter explained that Winehouse was a “victim of mental illness in a society that doesn’t understand or respond to mental illness with great effectiveness.”
Amy Winehouse’s battles became the subject of much media attention, and the paparazzi would catch the talented star whenever they could. As a result, Amy obtained an injunction against leading paparazzi agency, Pig Pictures, under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.
It became clear that the paparazzi was not helping an already unstable Winehouse and, in 2009, the High Court issued an order which banned them from following Winehouse. Photographers were banned from photographing Winehouse in her home or in other peoples homes close to her.
A True Talent
Her battles seemed to take over her talents as a musician, and Amy Winehouse proved how talented she really was in the years before her death. For her album “Back to Back,” Winehouse was nominated for two Brit Awards, for which she won one, and six Grammy Awards, for which she won an impressive five!
Throughout her whole career, she received 60 nominations and received 23 awards. BBC’s Garry Mulholland called Winehouse “the pre-eminent vocal talent of her generation,” and no-one could deny the immeasurable talent of Amy Winehouse.
Moreover, among all the headlines Amy Winehouse seemed to make before her death, the media often ignored how charitable Winehouse was. Having donated her money, music, and time to many charities throughout her life, she was once named “the most charitable act” by Pop World.
Throughout the arts community and the charity community, Winehouse was well-known for her generosity, but the general public was never really made aware of this side to her personality. Shortly before her death, and following many charitable ventures, Winehouse donated over $26,000 worth of clothes to a local charity shop in London.
Her Final Moments
On July 23rd, 2011, Amy Winehouse was found in her home in Camden, London, and was pronounced dead at the scene. Her bodyguard explained that he had arrived at her home three days before her death and had a feeling that Amy was intoxicated.
He took it upon himself to observe her drinking over the next few days, knowing of the star’s previous actions to relapse following her stints in rehab. On the day of her death, he watched her “laughing, listening to music and watching TV at 2 a.m.”
Her Sudden Death
After a night out, Amy’s bodyguard knew the star would often sleep late, so he did not find it unusual that she was asleep at 10 am the next day. However, according to the bodyguard, he found Amy lying in the same position shortly after three o’clock, and this is when he did a further check.
It was at this moment that he discovered Amy was not breathing and had no pulse, leading him to call emergency services.
She Was Never Able to Fight Her Demons
The Metropolitan Police confirmed her death shortly after the emergency services arrived, and crowds gathered at her residence to pay their respects. Forensic investigators began searching Amy’s apartment and discovered bottles of alcohol upon doing so.
On October 26, 2011, a coroner’s inquest revealed that Amy Winehouse had died from excessive drinking, with her alcohol content at the time of her death five times over the legal drink-drive limit. The coroner said, “The unintended consequences of such potentially fatal levels was her sudden death.”
Her Music Lives On
Fans mourned the loss of Amy Winehouse following the news of her tragic death, and many learned of her troubles in the film documentary, Amy. However, Amy’s legacy continued to live on through her music and, after her death, the star broke her second Guinness World Record.
Amy broke the record for the most songs by a woman to simultaneously appear on the UK singles chart, having had eight at one time. She earned an entry in the 2009 edition for Most Grammy Awards won by a British Female Act.
In September 2014, on the day that would have been Amy’s 31st birthday, a statue of the star was unveiled at Stables Market in Camden Town, London. Amy was proud of her hometown and even made reference to it in her acceptance speech when she won a Grammy.
The sculptor, London-based Scott Eaton, created the piece as a memorial to the late singer, and said it was meant to capture her “attitude and strength, but also give subtle hints of insecurity.”
Her father Mitch was proud of the sculpture and the memorial and said, “Now Amy will oversee the comings and goings of her hometown forever… Amy was in love with Camden, and it is the place her fans from all over the world associate her with.”
Mitch, who was responsible for his daughter’s money before her death, had delivered a eulogy at her funeral, saying, “Goodnight, my angel, sleep tight. Mummy and Daddy love you ever so much.”
Following In Others’ Footsteps
Mitch was always aware of his daughter’s issues and, together with her mother, they later opened the Amy Winehouse Foundation in honor of the singer. The foundation was started in hopes to prevent substance abuse and misuse among young people, similar to what happened to their beloved Amy.
Sadly, Amy was not able to recover from her addictions and passed away at the age of 27. In fact, Amy joined the 27 Club — an age at which she feared she would die.
The Last Recording
Just as Amy’s father had written the biography, Amy, My Daughter, in 2012, Amy’s mother published, Loving Amy: A Mother’s Story, in 2014. All the proceeds from both the written memoirs went to the Amy Winehouse Foundation.
Moreover, Winehouse’s last recording was a duet with American singer Tony Bennett when they recorded the single “Body and Soul.” The single was released on September 14th, 2011 — on what would have been Amy’s 28th birthday. All proceeds went to the Amy Winehouse Foundation.
Her Music Continues To Be Honored
Meanwhile, “Body and Soul” received the Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 54th Grammy Awards in 2012, with Amy’s parents both picking up the award. Speaking at the ceremony, Mitch Winehouse said, “We shouldn’t be here. Our darling daughter should be here.”
He continued, “These are the cards that we’re dealt.” Moreover, when being interviewed on The Daily Show by Jon Stewart in 2011, Bennett spoke highly of the star he had recently recorded the honored duet with.
A Rare Light
Speaking of her death during the interview, Bennett said, “She knew that she was in a lot of trouble; that she wasn’t going to live […] It was such a sad thing because she was the only singer that really sang what I call the ‘right way’ because she was a great jazz-pop singer… She was really a great jazz singer.”
The star continued, “A true jazz singer. And I regret that because that’s the ‘right way’ to sing.” Having won the Grammy Award months later, Bennett’s words were once again proven.
In December 2011, just five months after Amy Winehouse’s sudden death, an album of previously unreleased material was released. Titled Lioness: Hidden Treasures, the album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Charts, having had the largest first-week sales of Winehouse’s career.
In the U.S, it sold 114,000 units and debuted at number five on the Billboard 200. This album became Winehouse’s highest-debuting album in the U.S. Now, seven years later, her music still lives on, and fans will forever remember her beautiful voice.