Amy Jade Winehouse (14 September 1983 – 23 July 2011) was an English singer and songwriter. She was known for her deep, expressive contralto vocals and her eclectic mix of musical genres, including soul, rhythm and blues, reggae and jazz.
A member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra during her youth, Winehouse signed to Simon Fuller's 19 Management in 2002 and soon recorded a number of songs before signing a publishing deal with EMI. She also formed a working relationship with producer Salaam Remi through these record publishers. Winehouse's debut album, Frank, was released in 2003. Many of the album's songs were influenced by jazz and, apart from two covers, were co-written by Winehouse. Frank was a critical success in the UK and was nominated for the Mercury Prize. The song "Stronger Than Me" won her the Ivor Novello Award for Best Contemporary Song from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.
Winehouse released her follow-up album, Back to Black, in 2006, which went on to become an international success and one of the best-selling albums in UK history.At the 2007 Brit Awards, it was nominated for British Album of the Year and Winehouse received the award for British Female Solo Artist. The song "Rehab" won her a second Ivor Novello Award. At the 50th Grammy Awards in 2008, she won five awards, tying the then record for the most wins by a female artist in a single night and becoming the first British woman to win five Grammys. These included three of the General Field "Big Four" Grammy Awards: Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Song of the Year (for "Rehab"), as well as Best Pop Vocal Album.
Winehouse struggled with substance abuse, mental illness and addiction. She died of alcohol poisoning on 23 July 2011, at the age of 27. Her brother believed that bulimia was also to blame. After her death, Back to Black briefly became the UK's best-selling album of the 21st century. VH1 ranked Winehouse 26th on their list of the 100 Greatest Women in Music.
Morten Harket, 64.
Morten Harket is a Norwegian singer and songwriter who is the lead vocalist of the synthpop/rock band A-ha.
A-ha has released 11 studio albums to date, and topped the charts internationally after their breakthrough hit "Take On Me" in 1985. Harket has also released six solo albums. Before joining A-ha in 1982, Harket had appeared on the Oslo club scene as the singer for blues outfit Souldier Blue.
Harket was named a Knight First Class of the Order of St. Olav by King Harald for his services to Norwegian music and his international success.
On this day today:
1955 - Little Richard records "Tutti Frutti" in New Orleans for Specialty Records. Originally "Tutti Frutti, Good Booty," a female lyricist at the label rewrites it to take out the prurient references.
1964 - The Bing Crosby Show sitcom, starring the title singer, premieres on ABC (it lasts one season).
1967 - The Rolling Stones part ways with their longtime manager Andrew Loog Oldham. The group assumes management duties themselves.
1968 - Rolling Stone reports that The Who's Pete Townshend is working on a "rock opera" about a boy who is deaf, dumb, and blind. This ends up being their album Tommy.
1968 - Roy Orbison loses two of his three sons - Roy Jr. (age 10) and Tony (age 6) - when his home in Hendersonville, Tennessee, burns down. Orbison was on tour in Europe at the time.
1969 - Genesis take the stage for the first time, playing at the cottage owned by leader Peter Gabriel's former Sunday School teacher.
1970 - Stevie Wonder marries his first wife, the Motown demo singer and songwriter Syreeta Wright (their collaborations include Stevie's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" and The Spinners' "It's A Shame"). They divorce in 1972.
1974 - Eric Clapton's "I Shot The Sheriff," a song written by Bob Marley, hits #1 on the Hot 100. It is Clapton's only #1 on that tally, either as a solo artist or with one of his bands (Cream, The Yardbirds, Derek & the Dominos...)
1977 - Cheryl Lynn appears on the Gong Show, where she wows the judges with her version of "You Are So Beautiful." This earns her a deal with CBS Records, which issues "Got To Be Real" as her first single. The disco track is her only big Hot 100 hit, but she becomes a regular on the R&B chart.
1979 - It's "Kenny Rogers Day" in Los Angeles as the singer gets a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6666 Hollywood Blvd.
1979 - The film version of Quadrophenia, The Who's 1973 rock opera about growing up mod in London, premieres at the Toronto Film Festival.
1982 - Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, dies the day after suffering a stroke at the wheel and driving her car off a cliff. The 52-year-old former actress garnered acclaim in the 1956 musical comedy High Society alongside Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. She was also one of many stars name-checked in Madonna's "Vogue."
1984 - At the very first MTV Video Music Awards, Madonna performs "Like A Virgin" in a white wedding gown accessorized by her famous "Boy Toy" belt.
1991 - Paula Abdul lands her sixth (and final) #1 US hit with "The Promise of a New Day."
1993 - Sixteen years after releasing his landmark album Bat Out Of Hell, Meat Loaf issues the sequel, Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell, again with songs written by Jim Steinman. The first single, "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)," tops the charts in many territories, including the US.
1994 - The Temptations are awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7060 Hollywood Blvd.
1995 - Paul McCartney's handwritten lyrics for The Beatles' "Getting Better" fetch $249,000 at Sotheby's in London.
2000 - Paul Simon, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and the Eagles' Don Henley and Glenn Frey perform at the joint VH1/Rolling Stone fundraiser for Al Gore.
2002 - After dating for seven years, Gwen Stefani of No Doubt and Gavin Rossdale of Bush get married at St. Paul's Covent Garden in London. They divorce in 2016.
2003 - Jet release their debut album, Get Born, on Elektra Records. Leading the Australian invasion of the early 2000's with bands like The Vines, the album would go on to sell well over three million copies. The title is lifted from the lyrics of Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues."
2004 - Megadeth return after a two-year hiatus with The System Has Failed. This was originally intended to be a solo album by the band's founder Dave Mustaine, but due to contractual obligations owed to his publishing company, it had to be billed as a Megadeth album.
2004 - The seven-member Canadian band Arcade Fire release their debut album, Funeral. It gets lots of positive press and sells very well over the next decade as the band make a steady rise.
2007 - The Beatles-inspired movie Across The Universe opens in theaters.
2013 - John Legend marries the model Chrissy Teigen in Lake Como, Italy. She often serves as his muse, including on his songs "All Of Me" and "You & I (Nobody in the World)." They started dating in 2006.
2014 - A life-size statue of Amy Winehouse is unveiled in Camden Town, London to honor the singer.
2017 - Fergie and actor Josh Duhamel announce their separation after eight years of marriage. The pair, who share a 4-year-old son, Axl, secretly split months earlier.
2018 - Verve Records throws a launch party at the Rainbow Room in New York City to celebrate the release of Tony Bennett and Diana Krall's album Love Is Here To Stay. After the duo performs their rendition of "Fascinating Rhythm," Guinness World Records adjudicator Alex Angert announces Bennett - who first recorded the tune under the stage name Joe Bari over 68 years earlier - is now the title holder for "the longest time between the release of an original recording and a re-recording of the same single."