Following a long downward spiral that often played out in the public eye, singer Amy Winehouse died tragically in 2011 at the age of just 27.
On July 23, 2011, British singer Amy Winehouse was found dead inside her London home. Just 27 years old, she joined the “27 Club” of other music icons, like Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, and Kurt Cobain, who had died tragically at that same young age.
To some, Winehouse’s death seemed like a terrible yet predictable end to a long, public downfall. Right before the world’s eyes, Winehouse’s frame had grown skeletal and her behavior erratic. Rumors swirled about her drug addiction, her heavy drinking, and her volatile relationship with her then ex-husband, Blake Fielder-Civil.
By his own admission, Fielder-Civil introduced Winehouse to crack cocaine and heroin. In the throes of addiction, Winehouse began acting bizarrely. In June 2007, Winehouse carved “I love Blake” into her stomach during a magazine shoot. That December, she was photographed wandering around London barefoot and wearing only a bra. And in January 2008, a widely-circulated video showed her smoking crack.
But the haze of her personal demons never entirely obscured a bright truth — Winehouse had incredible talent. At the age of 19, she signed her first record deal. And by the time she was 24, she’d won five Grammy awards, including Best Album, for her 2006 record, Back To Black.
Fans fell in love with her honest, vulnerable lyrics, her husky voice, and her determination to be herself — both on stage and off.
But none of that was enough to keep Winehouse from spiraling. She canceled show after show. Although Winehouse eventually stopped doing drugs, she became increasingly reliant on alcohol.
In the summer of 2011 she did briefly stop drinking — but then she started right back up again. Winehouse said that she “just couldn’t bring herself to do it.”
Then, on the night of July 22, Winehouse and her bodyguard stayed up late watching YouTube videos. She got “tipsy,” he recalled, but she seemed to have control of herself. He checked on her in the morning, but he didn’t wake her up — and when he returned several hours later, he found that she hadn’t moved an inch.
The paramedics arrived around 4 p.m. and pronounced Amy Winehouse dead at the scene. There were several empty bottles of vodka scattered around her, and tests later showed that her blood alcohol level was five times the legal driving limit, more than enough to fatally poison her.
How did such a promising star fall from grace — and into the annals of history as yet another brilliant artist who died far too young?
Learn more about the story of Amy Winehouse’s tragic death and the downward spiral that preceded it.