Amy Winehouse was one of the greatest and most influential singers to ever live. As today would’ve been her 39th birthday, here’s the story of what became her most streamed song, which almost wasn’t recorded.
The British singer saw an immense following and international fame because of her unique voice and persona. However, her tempestuous love life and media struggles took a toll on an addiction that unfortunately cost her her life.
Before and after her death, her single ‘Rehab’ became the singer’s most recognizable hit. According to Hollywood Reporter, the hit song was downloaded over two million times and sold 1.72 million copies. It was also certified double-Platinum and earned three Grammys in 2008.
Amy’s sudden death broke the hearts of many, and she will always be remembered as an iconic singer of her generation. Celebrating her birthday today, here’s how one of her most-streamed songs almost didn’t make it through, but its story was convincing.
Amy Winehouse’s legacy
From an unknown aspiring musician to a superstar, Amy’s journey began at the age of 19. Discovering her talent, her friend Tyler James sent out a demo tape to his label A&R. This gave her the chance to come out and prove herself to what then became her label, 19 Management.
Before she began experiencing international fame, she was a student at Sylvia Young Threatre and also worked as a reporter. Years later, she reached legendary status as one of the most influential female artists.
Her debut album Frank, which was inspired by her admiration for Frank Sinatra, was well-acclaimed by listeners. So much so that early into her career, it brought her nominations for two Brit awards.
Throughout her active years, Amy sold almost four million copies in the UK alone. She has won fives Grammies
Amy almost didn’t record ‘Rehab’ and its unexpected hit
Though it became a lead single, the singer almost didn’t record the song. Mark Ronson confessed to Apple Music that the song almost didn’t make it though.
He said: “When we came out with ‘Rehab’ too, it was because she was just telling me the story about how her family came over and tried to make her go to rehab. And she was like, ‘No, no, no.’ And I just saw the way she said it and delivered it, it had a cadence, it sounded like a song.”
However, Ronson decided to go through the song after she became persistent. He revealed that he wouldn’t have recorded the song “if he felt she wasn’t doing well personally”. Ronson reiterated that at the time, the singer was clean.
The song ‘Rehab’ was about how her manager and her father failed at attempting to send the singer to a rehabilitation clinic, following her addiction to alcoholism and drugs. The song became an instant hit and sending her on the road to stardom.
Her Back to Black album, which featured the song ‘Rehab’, peaked at a high position in the top 10 albums on the Billboard 200. Its second lead single, ‘Back To Black’ reached number two.
A little over a week after her passing, the album re-entered the chart at number nine and rose to number seven the following week.
A heartbreaking death
Amy tragically died from accidental alcohol poisoning at the age of 27. She was founded dead in her flat in Camden on the afternoon of July 23, 2011, as bottles of vodka were found on the floor.
As per The Guardian, investigators found 416mg of alcohol per decilitre in her blood which were enough to make her comatose and affect her respiratory system.
The singer had long publicly struggled with addiction. Though she stopped consuming drugs before taking her trip to St Lucia, Amy couldn’t restrain herself from increasing her alcohol consumption becoming problematic as time went by.
If you’ve been affected by this story you can contact American Addiction Centers on (877) 686-7688 or Talk To Frank on 0300 123 6600 in the UK.