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Amy Winehouse: a life in pictures

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Stylist takes a look at the life of a phenomenal singer who drew comparisons with greats such as Billie Holiday and Nina Simone.

Amy started songwriting at the age of 14 and was propelled into a world of international stardom in 2006, with the release of Back to Black. Alongside her rise to fame came personal problems and a much-publicised battle with drink and drugs - but above all, she remained one of the most iconic voices of her generation. From her birth in London in 1983, to her tragic and untimely death at the age of 27, we present Amy's life in photos.

Click on an image below to launch the gallery.

Picture credits: Getty Images and Rex Features

Words by Dipal Acharya

  • Amy Winehouse, 1985

    Born in 1983 in Southgate, London, Amy Jade Winehouse was the daughter of taxi driver Mitchell and Janis, a pharmacist.

  • Amy Winehouse, 1987

    With a love for music from a young age, Amy was enrolled in the Susi Earnshaw Theatre school at the age of ten. Four years later, she moved on to the renowned Sylvia Young Theatre School, whose other alumni include Emma Bunton, Leona Lewis and Nicholas Hoult.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2003

    Amy cut her teeth as a musician in the clubs and pubs of north London. Here she is pictured at the Jazz Cafe in Camden.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2004

    At the age of 16, she dropped out of school and sang with a jazz band. Her boyfriend at the time sent off a demo tape of her to a record label, who immediately recognised her potential as a major music star. By 18, she was signed to Island Records.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2004

    Amy's first solo album Frank was released in 2003. Each original track on the album was co-written by Winehouse herself, and with its eclectic musical influences, it garnered widespread critical praise.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2004

    Her debut album won Amy numerous accolades in the music industry, including the Ivor Novello award for songwriting, pictured here, for the track Stronger Than Me.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2004

    Amy's sartorial choices were constantly scrutinized throughout her career - including this ensemble worn to the Q magazine awards in 2004.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2004

    In the same year, Amy found herself nominated for two prestigious Brit awards, for Best British Female and Best British Urban Act. Though she went home empty-handed, Amy was tipped as one-to-watch for the next year.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2004

    Another gong that eluded Amy throughout her brief career was the Mercury Prize. Though shortlisted twice (in 2004 and 2007), she lost out to Franz Ferdinand and the Klaxons respectively.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2004

    Keen to avoid labels in her early career, Amy often cited eclectic musical influences on her work - from hip-hop to jazz. Here she is pictured with Jay Kay, of Jamiroqui fame, and rapper Missy Elliott.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2005

    Amy met Blake Fielder-Civil at a pub in 2005. He worked on the periphery of the music industry. Their subsequent break-up a few months later hit Amy hard and she poured her anguish out into her lyrics.

    "I had never felt the way I feel about him about anyone in my life. I thought we'd never see each other again. I wanted to die," she later said.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2006

    One of the singer's other celebrity admirers included Russell Brand. It was around this period that Winehouse began to reinvent her public image, including the use of her trademark, ever-growing beehive.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2006

    With her second album in the final stages of production, Amy took to the gig-circuit to promote her new tracks. Here she is seen performing - and drinking - on stage at Koko in Camden.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2006

    Following up on her gig tours, Amy also performed on the Later with Jools Holland show on the BBC. The programme, long-regarded as a significant platform for the best new and emerging talent, cemented her star status.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2007

    Amy released her second album Back to Black in 2007, winning instant praise for its 60s girl band qualities and emotive songs about hearbreak. The release propelled Amy to international stardom; she made history in the US when the album entered the charts at number seven, the highest position ever for a British female artist.

    Here she is seen collecting the Best Pop award from the South Bank awards.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2007

    Amy reunited with Blake in 2007 and the couple soon married in a impulsive ceremony in Florida in May that year. Their tempestuous relationship and legal woes would continue to plague them until the end of the singer's life.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2007

    Amy's signature style soon earned her respect within both the music and fashion industries, with Karl Lagerfeld describing her as one of his 'muses'. Here she is pictured with friend Kelly Osbourne at the ELLE Style Awards in 2007

  • Amy Winehouse, 2007

    Amy's unlikely fame in the fashion world became even more apparent after attending a series of high-profile fashion events. Here she is seen at The Gramercy Park Hotel, at the launch of Kate Moss' eponymous line for Topshop in 2007.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2007

    Newly married, Amy and Blake make their way down the red-carpet at the MTV Movie Awards. The young couple's hedonistic lifestyle and appearance began to eclipse Winehouse's music in the tabloids.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2007

    With Winehouse's management eager to refocus media attention on her music, the singer pulled out a knock-out performance at the Mercury Prize that same year, finishing with a standing ovation

  • Amy Winehouse, 2007

    A north London girl through and through, Amy's movements around her home in Camden were exhaustively documented in the press, with her regular haunts, such as the Hawley Arms pub, soon becoming pseudo-tourist attractions.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2007

    As one of the biggest events in the British music industry, it was only natural that Amy took centre stage at the 2007 BRIT Awards in London.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2007

    With an increasingly svelte figure and reports of erratic behaviour, no irony was lost when Winehouse sang Rehab at the glittering awards ceremony.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2007

    Nominated for two awards that evening, Amy left - quite deservingly - with the Best Female gong, pictured here, being presented by Radio 1 DJ Jo Whiley.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2007

    Fierce and unapologetic about her increasingly turbulent personal life, Winehouse strove to honour her professional commitments - including this memorable performance on the chat-show Parkinson.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2008

    Despite being unable to perform at the Grammys in person due to visa issues, Amy delivered another blinding performance via a live video-link in 2008.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2008

    That night, having sold over 5 million albums, Amy walked away with five Grammys - a record number of awards for a female solo artist of her age. Surrounded by friends and family in a London studio, pictured here hugging her mother Janis, the singer dominated the evening's proceedings.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2008

    Reunited with Mark Ronson, who produced and collaborated with Winehouse on the Back to Black album, the pair performed at the 2008 Brit awards. Ronson described Winehouse as his "musical soulmate and like a sister" to him on Twitter after her death.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2008

    That same year, Amy was asked to perform at Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday celebrations in Hyde Park, London. Though a controversial choice, her performance quickly won over the sceptics.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2008

    Pictured here on-stage at Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday celebrations in Hyde Park.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2008

    By 2008, reports of Amy's erratic behaviour on and off stage became commonplace. One of the headlining acts at Glastonbury on the Pyramid stage, the singer's set was overshadowed by a fracas with a member of the audience - and captured on live television.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2008

    With her husband held in custody in London's Pentonville Prison (he had been charged with assaulting a publican and was sentenced to 27 months in July 2008), Amy emerges from the building looking dishevelled. Despite initially pledging to stand by him, Amy grew distanced from Blake during his time behind bars, although personal problems in her frenetic-paced life continued.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2008

    Throughout this period, Amy's friends and family provided valuable support for the singer. Amy is pictured here at Ivor Novello awards with father Mitch by her side, and the Blake hairpin she was snapped wearing regularly in her beehive.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2008

    Mitch Winehouse became increasingly concerned in the light of his daughter's rollercoaster of shambolic public appearances, arrests and visits to rehab. He went so far as to appealing to the press, stating that even a cigarette given to Amy could kill her. It was reported that he had become so worried about her mental and physical health that he had already written her eulogy.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2009

    After an appearance on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, Winehouse was reportedly rushed to hospital following complications with a breast uplift procedure. Despite the scare, Amy's appearance and on-stage behaviour had improved and divorce proceedings from Fielder-Civil were in the pipe line.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2009

    Pictured outside Westminster Magistrates Court, Amy was found not guilty of assaulting a fan at the End of Summer Berekley Ball. Though pleased with the decision, her frequent cigarette breaks and questionable outfits again brought her into the media spotlight.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2010

    In 2010, Amy began actively supporting her goddaughter Dionne Broomfield, with her burgeoning music carrer. Pictured here at the Q awards in 2010, Dionne was signed to Amy's record label Lioness Records.

    The last time that Amy would make a public appearance before her death was on-stage with Dionne at the iTunes Festival just three days before the tragedy.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2011

    Fresh-faced and happier post-divorce, Amy is seen here performing at the Summer Soul festival in Brazil in January 2011. With whispers of a new album and now reportedly dating film director Reg Traviss, 2011 seemed to be looking bright for Winehouse.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2011

    The trip to Brazil also provided a vital opportunity for Amy to unwind and relax. With pictures emerging in the media of a fuller-figured Winehouse, and after playing a series of successful sets in South America, the singer had temporarily silenced her critics.

  • Amy Winehouse, 2011

    One of Amy's final appearances on stage was in Belgrade, Serbia, in June, 2011. It was a shambolic performace - apparently under the influence, Amy stumbled across the stage and slurred her words, which led to angry fans booing her off stage. As a result, the singer then cancelled 12 European tour dates.