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Amy Jade Winehouse was an English singer-songwriter known for her powerful deep contralto vocals and her eclectic mix of musical genres including R&B, soul and jazz.

Winehouse was born inthe Southgate area of North London to a Jewish family, with Russian ancestry on her mother's side, who influenced her interest in jazz. Winehouse was the daughter of Mitchell Winehouse, a taxi driver, andJanis Winehouse, a pharmacist. Her grandmother had once been engaged to Ronnie Scott. Her brother, Alex, is four years older. Mitch often sang Frank Sinatra songs to young Amy, who also took to a constanthabit of singing to the point that teachers found it difficult keeping her quiet in class. Winehouse's parents separated when she was nine.

When Winehouse was nine years old, her grandmother,Cynthia, suggested she attend the Susi Earnshaw Theatre School for further training. At age ten, Winehouse founded a short-lived rap group called Sweet 'n' Sour with childhood friend Juliette Ashby. Shestayed at the Earnshaw school for four years before seeking full-time training at Sylvia Young Theatre School, but was allegedly expelled at 14 for "not applying herself" and for piercing her nose.(Sylvia Young herself has denied this – "She changed schools at 15 – I've heard it said she was expelled; she wasn't. I'd never have expelled Amy.") With other children from the Sylvia Young School, sheappeared in an episode of The Fast Show in 1997. She later attended The Mount School, Mill Hill, the BRIT School inSelhurst, Croydon, Southgate School and Ashmole School.

Winehouse was found deadon 23 July 2011, at her home in London. Police have said that the cause of her death is "as yet unexplained" and that the death was "non-suspicious". Winehouse's family and friends attended her funeralon 26 July 2011. In August 2011 her album Back to Black became the UK's best selling album of the 21st century.

After toying with her brother's guitar, Winehouse received her first guitar when...
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