North Londoner Amy Winehouse first burst to prominence in October 2003, aged 20, with her universally acclaimed, platinum-selling debut Frank. That record was her grand and suitably blunt-speaking break-up record, sometimes a little bitter, with a maturity in the vocal delivery that was never less than sweet.
Frank won Amy a battalion of fans around the world and marked her out as one of pop's most distinct new songwriters; confessional, elemental and with that rarest of combinations: humour and soul. Amy had cut through to the core of the human condition with her debut, adding her own jazzy witticisms to the legacy of the greats.
Three years later, in October 2006, she followed it up with the astonishing Back To Black, a record which channelled the girl groups of her fancy but placed them slap bang into the middle of modernity, with a little help from producer Mark Ronson. If that album's brazen confessionals charted Amy's progression from girlhood to womanhood, it also propelled her from critics' darling to bona fide global pop phenomenon.
Powered by a stunning array of loosely strung, funk-inflected joints including "Rehab", "You Know I'm No Good" and "Back To Black", the album won Amy countless awards, including Brits, Ivor Novellos and an incredible five Grammy Awards. It also made her one of a very select band of UK artists to sell more than 10 million copies of an album.
Now, as the sun sets on the noughties, Amy's working on ideas for her third album. We don't yet know how its songs will sound, or what its lyrics will say. But, rest assured that it will, once again, make the world sit up and listen.
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