Shocking things we learned about Amy Winehouse after her death

The world was stunned when Amy Jade Winehouse, the English artist behind great hits, such as "Rehab" and "Back to Black," died of alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011. During her brief albeit astounding career, she managed to snag six Grammy awards, proving that her jazz-inspired vocals had crossover appeal in the United States and beyond. 

Though she was often celebrated, the media had a penchant for focusing on her rambunctious behavior and the public struggles with her vices. Following her untimely passing, the talented musician has been honored by those closest to her. Her friends, family members, and music industry cohorts continue to share obscure facts about the singer, while documentaries and a previously unpublished interview have given the world some more insight on her short life, from the good to the bad.

 Here are some of the shocking facts we've learned so far about Amy Winehouse's life following her death.  

Amy Winehouse was more talented than we realized

On July 3, 2015, the Asif Kapadia-directed documentary Amy debuted in New York and Los Angeles. The highly-anticipated film included intimate videos from the singer's life, including a clip of her serenading one of her closest friends on her birthday. In the video, a 14-year-old Winehouse effortlessly belted out "Happy Birthday," proving that even at such a young age, she was full of extraordinary talent. Even the late legendary film critic Roger Ebert compared the young Winehouse to being "possessed by the spirit of an ancient R&B diva."

Kapadia was also impressed by the countless hours of footage he reviewed for the documentary. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine he stated, "What I learned was what a creative, intelligent, funny human being she was...I didn't know any of that. I don't know if anyone did."

Despite the film being a critical success, not everyone was excited to see the documentary come to life. The Winehouse family refused to give their approval because they believed the singer's father, Mitch, was portrayed as an enabler to her drug and alcohol abuse.

Despite their displeasure with the final edit, the film, including the scene of Winehouse proving she was a vocal powerhouse at such a young age, will always be cherished by her fans.

Amy Winehouse was a big fan of P!nk

In January 2004, a journalist by the name of John Marrs conducted an interview with Winehouse who was relatively unknown at the time. Her album Frank had just been released in the UK, and she wasn't expected to be a huge breakout star, so the editor didn't even bother to publish the interview at that time. Following her death, it was released in its entirety (via Huffington Post), and we learned some fascinating facts about other artists in the industry Winehouse's was fond of.

When the English singer was asked which of her American counterparts she enjoyed the most, she gave a nod to P!nk by saying the "What About Us" singer was "wicked because she talks her mouth off and doesn't give a s**t."

P!nk unknowingly lived up to Winehouse's description of her when she gave her two cents about Winehouse's personal issues. In a 2008 interview with the Daily Mirror, P!nk said, "I would like to see Amy get well. She's great. It's all very Britney Spears, though I've seen people recover from worse."

Amy Winehouse was one half of a rap duo

In a previously unpublished interview, shared by HuffPost, another thing we were shocked to learn about Amy Winehouse was her love of hip-hop. When asked who her idols were while she was growing up, she mentioned she so badly wanted to be in the '80s female rap group Salt-N-Pepa. She and her childhood friend, Juliette Ashby, even started their own group called Sweet-n-Sour when Winehouse was 9.

While reliving the memory, Winehouse said, "We had some funny songs. We had two little boys to be our little b****s who would dance for us. We wrote a song called "Boys Who Needs Them?" and in the middle of the song they'd come on and list girls names while we dissed them." Winehouse went on to say she and Ashby performed the songs at school assemblies, complete with a dance sequence that included a bunch of "grinding."  

Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes, Winehouse was Sour.

Amy Winehouse wrote a song about rapper Nas

In 2006, Amy Winehouse released her final studio album entitled, Back to Black. The album included 12 tracks, including the song "Me and Mr. Jones."

Prior to her death, there were speculations about which mystery man Winehouse was referring to in the song. Many assumed she had penned the track for rapper Nasir "Nas" Jones, and some of her words in the song actually matched up with Jones' real life. When Winehouse belted out "Mr. Destiny, 9 and 14," she was referencing's Jones' daughter, Destiny, and September 14, which happens to be Winehouse and Jones' shared birth dates. Following her death, Jones confirmed the rumor by stating Winehouse's producer, Salaam Remi, had spilled the beans to him prior to the track's release.

In an interview with XXL magazine, Jones stated, "I don't really remember if [Rami], who was really close to her, who introduced us, if he told me about it or not...I don't remember right now. But, I heard a lot about it before I even heard the song."

The two had actually sparked a friendship after realizing they had more in common than just their birthdays. Skype sessions later turned into an in-person meeting, and the two artists were working on a song that Winehouse never got the chance to record. They were even planning a joint-birthday party that same year before her untimely death, according to Uproxx.

Can you imagine all the talented A-lister who would've showed up to the shindig?

Amy Winehouse had the same best friends since childhood

When it came time to interview those in Amy Winehouse's inner circle for the 2015 self-titled, posthumous documentary, Kapadia and producer James Gay-Rees found it difficult to find people close to the singer who were willing to open up. It was almost as if they had been sworn to secrecy and using their silence as a form of loyalty towards the troubled singer.

In the end, they were able to convince more than 100 of Winehouse's friends and associates to give their personal recounts of their relationship with the singer. "I just sat there in a room with a microphone," Gay-Rees told Telegraph. "I turned the lights off and we sat in the dark and talked."

Two of those people who opened up to them were Winehouse's childhood best friends, Ashby, who was her Sweet-n-Sour band mate, and Lauren Gilbert. Although their friendship may have been idyllic in earlier years, it became less warm and fuzzy as Winehouse's popularity increased and her drug use ramped up.

The singer's first manager, Nick Shymansky, revealed that he, Ashby, and Gilbert "adopted a tough-love approach" and took a firm stance when Winehouse's vices spiraled out of control.

Amy Winehouse knew she couldn't handle fame

Not too many artists experience immediate success straight out the gate. As for Amy Winehouse, her 2003 debut album Frank was certified three-times platinum as of 2017, according to BPI. Her follow-up album, the 2006 monster hit Back to Black, avalanched her previous success by going twelve-times platinum. With her newfound fame came a legion of international fans who fell in love with her raspy and bluesy voice. But after her death, we learned that Winehouse wasn't entirely interested in being a big star.

When the official trailer to the AMY documentary was released, fans were greeted by Winehouse's voice ominously predicting her own downfall. When speaking about her budding career, she said she didn't want to be "anything other than a musician." When asked by an interviewer, "How big do you think you're going to be?" She replied, "I don't. I don't think I'm going to be at all famous. I don't think I could handle it. I would probably go mad."

Amy Winehouse was easy to work with

Amy Winehouse collaborated with a host of top-notch entertainers, including Prince on the track "Love Is a Losing Game" and mega-producer Quincy Jones on "It's My Party." There are a host of celebrities who are difficult to work with, and, apparently, Winehouse wasn't one of them.

Six years after her death, her bassist, Dale Davis, gave an interview to MusicRadar to talk about his time performing alongside the iconic singer. He recognized that she was struggling with addiction, and he admitted it was hard to perform on stage with her "for the last two or three years of her life." Despite the turmoil caused by Winehouse's battles with her inner demons, Davis called her "an amazing talent, and very easy to work with." He had "hope that she would get herself back together," but as we all know, that wish didn't come to fruition.

Jay Z tried to curb Amy Winehouse's drinking

It's hard to stand by and watch as someone you care about deals with addiction. While Amy Winehouse's friends decided to give her tough love, rapper Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter thought confronting Winehouse face-to-face was the best solution. While speaking to Rap Radar podcast (via Mirror), the rapper described the first time he and Beyoncé met the singer at the Spotted Pig restaurant in New York.

After seeing her in such bad condition he recalled, "I looked at her, and I was like, 'Stay with us.'" He also admitted he was disturbed by the lyrics of her hit song "Rehab" even though he would later lend his vocals to the remix.

On a separate occasion, Winehouse had finished performing at Joe's Pub in NYC, and Jay Z later revealed he was "alarmed" by the way she was stuttering. He reportedly asked her, "You don't even stutter. Why are you doing that?"

Amy Winehouse trained at Sylvia Young Theatre School

During the 2004 interview that was published following her death, Amy Winehouse revealed she had trained at the prestigious Sylvia Young Theater school in London as a child.

The program had a positive effect on her life. She proudly stated, "People think stage school is a little star factory but the truth is kids like me learned about being in a team situation and going out to work earlier than a lot of kids did. I don't know anyone from drama school who's now sitting on their arse doing nothing."

She also admitted the school taught her how to discipline herself in singing, dance, and acting. But when it came to developing her vocals, Sylvia Young couldn't take all the credit. Winehouse said, "I could sing, but I didn't become a great singer. I probably didn't become any good until I was about 15 and I left Sylvia Young."

Amy Winehouse had a crush on popular characters

Amy Winehouse was in a tumultuous on-again-off-again relationship with Blake Fielder-Civil during the final years of her life. Their relationship was so rocky, it made for perfect tabloid fodder. In an interview with Bizarre (via The Guardian), Winehouse admitted she would get physical with Fielder-Civil when she was drinking. She said, "If he says one thing I don't like then I'll chin him." Proof of their physical altercations came to light when photos of Winehouse and Fielder-Civil covered in scratches and blood were published by the Daily Mail in August 2007. 

Fielder-Civil would become her husband before filing for divorce (form jail, might we add) in January 2009. She may have thought he was her true love, but her real crushes just so happened to be popular characters Snoopy and Bart Simpson, as well as the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

In her posthumously-published interview she said, "I wanted to be Snoopy's girlfriend and when I got older I wanted to be Bart Simpson's girlfriend. Then I couldn't decide whether I wanted marry Snoopy or Michael Jackson – because he was God to me – or to just be them."

Kapadia, the producer of her documentary, was spot on about her amazing sense of humor!

Amy Winehouse couldn't stand some artists' music

While she gave singer P!nk a thumbs up for always speaking her mind, she wasn't so complimentary to other artists in the music industry. Winehouse was interviewed by journalist John Marrs in the months following the release of her debut album Frank. Initially, the interview was unpublished, but the transcript was later posthumously shared by HuffPost

Marrs asked the singer what she thought of American contemporaries. That's when Winehouse unleashed her unfiltered opinion. "[Christina Aguilera] has her own style too, so good on her," Winehouse stated. "I don't think anyone's every [sic] told her to put on some leather chaps and get her noonie out. She's an amazing singer but a lot of her music I can't even hear, it's the same with [Britney Spears'] music." Ouch.

Looking back on her brazen opinion, we're not the least bit surprised. Winehouse was never one to mince her words! 

Amy Winehouse wanted to be a pool shark

There were some amazing gems in journalist John Marrs previously unpublished interview with Amy Winehouse, including the truth about her aspirations. Even if she didn't make it big in the industry, she revealed she would still be performing music and playing gigs. But when she was asked what made her happy, her answer was surprising. "A pool table," she said. Winehouse added: "I love pool and if I could invent an eighth day of the week, the morning would be spent playing the guitar and the night I'd be a pool shark." 

Winehouse referred to a billiard room in the London Borough of Camden as her "local" spot, and said she "spent a lot of time there, playing pool and listening to jukebox music" during a 2007 interview with Rolling Stone. It was at that same establishment where she met her then-boyfriend, Blake Fielder-Civil, back in 2005. The pair later married in 2007, according to People. They divorced just two years later on grounds of Winehouse's adultery, Telegraph reports.

Amy Winehouse wanted to be a mother

If her drug rehab and her subsequent treatments had been successful, perhaps Winehouse would've been a mother today. In a previously unreleased interview, she told journalist John Marrs she definitely envisioned herself "settling down, getting married and having kids." She was a bit iffy on just how good of a mom she would be when she stated, "I think I'd be a good mum, well, I hope so. I hope I wont [sic] be a s**t mum." But we have no doubts her mothering instincts would've kicked right in.

As for how many kids she wanted exactly, Winehouse said she wanted "loads of them, at least five." She planned to juggle motherhood and her music career by having a studio in her house, "recording downstairs in my basement and the kids come down looking for their mummy then they'll pretend to sing into the microphone and it'll be cute."

After her death, her father made the shocking admission that Winehouse and her then-fiancé, Reg Traviss, were expecting a baby at some point during their relationship. "They were going to get married," he said during an interview with Weekend Sunrise (via Independent)."I shouldn't tell you this but she thought she was pregnant at some stage."

Unfortunately, for her fans who wanted to feel closer to the later singer and learn everything they could about her, her father refused to give further details as to when the alleged pregnancy occurred.

Amy Winehouse worked quickly

Amy Winehouse's life and career have been honored in multiple documentaries following her death, including the 2018 film, Amy Winehouse – Back to Black. In the documentary (via USA Today), we were able to learn even more about the "Tears Dry On Their Own" singer's creative process during the time she recorded her sophomore album, Back to Black.

According to the late singer's collaborator, Mark Ronson, Winehouse was a quick and efficient musician. Upon landing in New York to work with Ronson and fellow collaborator Salaam Remi, Ronson recalled how Winehouse "wrote 'Back to Black' and 'Rehab' within the three days." He also added: "It was probably the quickest I've worked on any record. We did about five songs in four days."

Our minds are blown right now. It's hard to fathom that although some of her songs were penned so quickly, they're still considered to be some of the most iconic tracks the music world has been blessed with.