Amy Winehouse facts: Singer's parents, husband, tattoos and death explained

18 May 2021, 17:20

Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse. Picture: Getty

Amy Winehouse was one of the most talented and unique British singer-songwriters of the 21st century.

From the discovery of her talent to her tragic passing, here is all the important facts about the 'Back to Black' star.

  1. Where was Amy Winehouse born and who are her parents?

    Amy Winehouse with her parents Mick and Janis
    Amy Winehouse with her parents Mick and Janis. Picture: Getty

    Amy Winehouse was born in Chase Farm Hospital, in north London, to Jewish parents.

    Her dad, Mitch Winehouse, was a window panel installer and a taxi driver. Her mother, Janis Winehouse was a pharmacist.

    Read more: Amy Winehouse's 10 greatest songs ever, ranked

    Her ancestors were Russian Jewish and Polish Jewish immigrants to London. Amy's older brother, Alex was born in 1979.

    Her grandmother was once engaged to English saxophonist and jazz club owner, Ronnie Scott.

  2. How did Amy Winehouse get her start in music?

    Aged eight, she attended the Susi Earnshaw Theatre School, and was later was a pupil at the Sylvia Young theatre school in central London.

    However, she was asked to leave because she was disrupting lessons and "not applying herself."

    She then had a short spell at the Brit School in Croydon, south London. She attended at the same time as fellow singers Leona Lewis, Jessie J and Adele.

    Read more: Home video of Amy Winehouse singing aged 14 confirms star's stunning natural talent

    Amy got her first guitar when she was 13, and began writing music a year later. Her break came at 16, when her ex-boyfriend, soul singer Tyler James, sent a tape of her singing with a jazz band to his A&R manager.

    It eventually led to a contract with the Island/Universal record label, and a publishing deal with EMI.

  3. How many tattoos did Amy Winehouse have?

    Amy Winehouse performs at V Festival
    Amy Winehouse performs at V Festival. Picture: Getty

    Amy Winehouse had 14 known tattoos, including 'Daddy's Girl' on her left arm for her father, and the name 'Cynthia' on her right arm in tribute of her Jewish grandmother.

  4. Was Amy Winehouse married?

    Amy Winehouse and husband Blake Fielder-Civil in 2007
    Amy Winehouse and husband Blake Fielder-Civil in 2007. Picture: Getty

    Most of the songs on Back to Black were inspired by her relationship and split with her on-off boyfriend Blake Fielder-Civil.

    They eventually married at a secret ceremony in Miami in May 2007.

    However, the relationship ended when Fielder-Civil was sentenced to 27 months in jail for trying to pervert the course of justice and of grievous bodily harm.

    Amy also dated singer Alex Clare, actor Josh Bowman, and singer Pete Doherty.

  5. How and when did Amy Winehouse die?

    Flowers, pictures and messages are left near Amy Winehouse's home after her death
    Flowers, pictures and messages are left near Amy Winehouse's home after her death. Picture: Getty

    Amy Winehouse was found dead on July 23, 2011, at her home in London, aged 27.

    She was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium. In October, the coroner reported that her death was due to alcohol poisoning, with her blood-alcohol level 5 times over the legal driving limit at the time of her death.

    For much of her adult life, Winehouse's battles with substance abuse were the subject of much media attention.