Happy 29th bornday, Amy Winehouse!
Amy Winehouse was undeniably one of the greatest vocalists of our generation. In honor of the late soulbird’s life, here’s 7 facts you may not have known about her.
1. Amy Loved Salt-N-Pepa.
At age ten, she founded a short-lived rap group called Sweet ‘n’ Sour with her best friend, Juliette Ashby. “Little white Jewish Salt-N-Pepa. I was ‘Sour,’ of course.” (Rolling Stone interview, 2007)
2. Amy Got Her Nose Pierced at 13.
She was kicked out of the Sylvia Young Theatre School for the piercing. At 14, she dropped out of school completely. (Rolling Stone interview, 2007)
3. Amy’s Childhood Dream Job
She wanted to be roller-skating waitress, like the ones she’d seen in the movie “American Graffiti.” (Rolling Stone interview, 2007)
4. Amy Learned To Sing From Dinah Washington.
“[When I was younger] I started listening to Ella Fitzgerald. My brother had all the good stuff and he was like [shakes head]…Dinah Washington. So, I learned to sing from her a lot.” (BBC News, 2006)
5. Amy’s Favorite Artists
Sarah Vaughan, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Mahalia Jackson, Nas, Mos Def and Busta Rhymes were some of her favorite artists. She always wanted to collaborate with Busta Rhymes, Mos Def and Rah Digga.
6. Amy’s All-Time Favorite Song Was Carole King’s “So Far Away.”
Friends and family members sang the folk-rock tune at her funeral. (ABC News, 2011)
7. Questlove: “Amy Taught Me About Jazz.”
Questlove told Associated Press in the video below,
“She’s such a jazz snob. I couldn’t stand it, but I was obsessed with it. Once we exchanged information, she would always be on her computer sending me mp3’s. ‘Listen to this, listen to this.’ We spent a lot of time on Skype talking about crazy ideas. She schooled me about Sarah Vaughan. I schooled her about J Dilla. Then she was like ‘alright we’re gonna start a supergroup. You, me, Mos [Def], and Raphael Saadiq.’ I was like ok and she started assigning homework. ‘Study this record, study this record.’ I really miss not having her here. I mean, I thought I was a music snob and I thought I had my doctorate in jazz, but no. There’s so much more I could’ve learned. She was a teacher, more than my skype buddy. She taught me a lot.”
Photo Credit: Amy Winehouse by Hedi Slimane for V Magazine, 2007.