Amy Winehouse: A Tumultuous Life
Many suggested Winehouse had been drinking before her erratic appearance on Channel 4's The Charlotte Church Show, and their duet of Michael Jackson's ''Beat It'' went viral for all the wrong reasons. As Winehouse's star began to rise in the U.S., her weight plummeted during an exhaustive schedule of promotional appearances and concerts.
Winehouse and her new husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, were photographed bloodied and bruised in the streets of London after a fight in their hotel suite. Via a series of texts to Perez Hilton, Winehouse contended her injuries were self-inflicted: ''Blake is the best man in the world. We would never ever harm each other... I was cutting myself after he found me in our room about to do drugs with a call girl and rightly said I wasn't good enough for him. I lost it and he saved my life.... He did not and never has hurt me. He has such a hard time and he is so supportive... He is an amazing man who saved my life again and got cut badly for his troubles.'' Later that month, her father-in-law took to the radio to urge fans to boycott her music — and for the industry to not honor her with award nominations — until she sought treatment for what he called a drug addiction. In October, she and her husband would be arrested at a Norwegian hotel for marijuana possession.
Fans booed Winehouse on the first night of her U.K. tour after she stumbled and cried her way through a concert. She had just visited her husband in prison for the first time earlier in the day, her spokesperson explained afterwards. She later canceled shows for the remainder of the year.
Winehouse was photographed on a London Street early in the morning, walking barefoot and wearing just a bra and jeans. Her rep told the media, ''Amy had been asleep and heard a noise. She went outside to investigate. She didn't realize the time.''
After the British tabloid The Sun ran a front-page photo of Winehouse allegedly smoking drugs from a glass pipe, police requested to see the video footage the tab had also made public. Winehouse continued her ongoing treatment. That same month, she provided more fodder for her oft-cited ''Worst Dressed'' image when she showed up to a newsstand with blond hair.
Winehouse was granted a visa at the last minute to perform at the Grammys in-person, but citing logistics and timing complications, she stuck to her previously announced back-up plan and sang ''You Know I'm No Good'' and ''Rehab'' via satellite from London. She accepted five awards — including Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Album, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Vocal Performance — and in an odd, rambling acceptance speech thanked her ''Blake, incarcerated,'' who remained in jail.
Click for memories of Amy Winehouse's '08 Grammys performances from an executive at CBS, which carried the telecast.
Police investigated accusations that Winehouse headbutted a man outside of a bar who tried to hail her a taxi. The Sun claimed it was her ''most depraved night yet'' and also allegedly involved her punching another man and turning over tables and drinks in the bar, smoking drugs in the street, and walking into a lamppost.
Her father Mitch Winehouse spoke to the Daily Mail about his daughter's health, which was showing early symptoms that could lead to emphysema. ''The doctors have told her if she goes back to smoking drugs, it won't just ruin her voice, it will kill her,'' he was quoted as saying. ''There are nodules around the chest and dark marks. She has 70 percent lung capacity.'' Later, he told BBC Radio 1 that ''with patience her lungs will recover completely.'' He said she was ''flourishing'' in response to treatment.
The then 25-year-old singer was hospitalized three times in a month due to chest and lung ailments and an allergic reaction to medication. British papers reported rumors of Winehouse splitting from husband Blake Fielder-Civil, who would later lose an appeal of his jail sentence for assault and perverting the course of justice. In January 2009, Fielder-Civil began divorce proceedings against Winehouse, who had been seen with another man while vacationing in St. Lucia.
Winehouse pleaded not guilty to hitting a female fan who asked to take a photograph with her at a charity ball in Sept. 2008. The legal issue kept her from getting a visa to perform at Coachella the following month.
The annual Jazz festival in St Lucia was billed as Winehouse's triumphant comeback gig, but fans walked as she spaced onstage, forgot lyrics, and ultimately walked off midsong herself. Her spokesperson blamed the weather and 'technical difficulties.'
After waiting almost a year to hear a completed track from Amy Winehouse, Quincy Jones was reportedly going to have to cut the singer from an all-star tribute album being recorded in his honor. Producer Mark Ronson, who'd been working on the song with Winehouse, told the Mirror, ''The track isn't finished and she's not around. If she's not here then, unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about it.'' Her cover of ''It's My Party'' did, however, end up on the album released that November.
Winehouse and Fielder-Civil are granted a divorce, despite Winehouse having been quoted by Britain's Now magazine as saying, ''I won't let him divorce me. He's the male version of me and we're perfect for each other.''
Winehouse pleaded guilty to common assault and public order charges, admitting she attacked a British theater manager who refused to serve her alcohol during a holiday stage performance of Cinderella. She was given a two-year conditional discharge, which amounted to a form of probation, and ordered to pay 85 pounds in costs and 100 pounds to the victim.
In preparation for upcoming summer dates in Europe, Winehouse voluntarily entered rehab to address her alcohol addiction. A source told People it was her father who convinced her she needed help — and that Winehouse downed a miniature bottle of Smirnoff vodka on her way to the clinic.
Another Winehouse performance goes viral for the wrong reasons. Taking the stage an hour late at a music festival in the Serbian capital Belgrade, Winehouse lost the crowd as she stumbled around, only occasionally sang her own songs, and talked a lot about how much she likes some of her band members more than others. ''Amy Winehouse has canceled appearances in Istanbul and Athens for the coming week,'' her publicist told EW in a statement. ''Despite feeling sure that she wanted to fulfill these commitments, she has agreed with management that she cannot perform to the best of her ability and will return home. She would like to apologize to fans expecting to see her at the shows but feels that this is the right thing to do.'' A day after that announcement, she canceled all the remaining dates on her short European tour. ''Everyone involved wishes to do everything they can to help her return to her best and she will be given as long as it takes for this to happen,'' her rep said.