Hate it or love it, Amy Winehouse is going to go down as one of the greatest singers of the century, hands down. From awards to sales all the way to controversy, she has her hand in everything. And while most folks have counted her out since the D.A.R.E.'s Most Wanted scares of 2008, I'm going to go out on a limb and say Winehouse will be the biggest icon of the past decade when comparing British singers alone and the most talked-about artists globally.
Sure, these are huge claims on my behalf, but as I sip the last few sips of a slippery Coca-Cola can and listen to her "(There Is) No Greater Love," the idea keeps repeating itself. Sure, you will always have Sade and power players like Alicia Keys and Mariah Carey...but for that authentic sound you could put on your iPod and even have Grandmamama hopping out of her panties into your sister's thong collection. Nothing speaks as many volumes as Winehouse's collection.
As people continue to believe her "debut" stemmed from the 2007 banger, Back To Black, all true R&B heads already know 2003's Frank remains a staple in her career. I won't fake the funk, even I laughed at a chunky-faced Wiinehouse on the cover before popping in the disc, but I was blown away by record after record after record. "You Should Be Stronger Than Me" as a lead-off track? Murking Nas' "They Shootin'" with her own twists and wordplay? But as I reflected a few bars ago, it's "No Greater Love" which has my toes curled and MySpace searchin' "England --> Female --> Single" in between sentences, to hear the English accent and gentle calmness found in her slighly raspy delivery as the tunes play softly?
Even though I stand by her 2003 debut as more impactful than her latest effort, the point remains the same...Winehouse smashes the competition. While the biggest gossip surrounding Keys' career is whether she was/is a "My Girl Got A Girlfriend" lady or if she is really creeping with Swizz Beatz, it's Winehouse's inability to stay out of the gossip news and tabloids which support my point.
From skin diseases, drug cases, drug busts, publicized divorce from Blake, dumb silly obvious breast implants, overly common nipple slips and more than enough hospital scares...Winehouse balances the controversy with success and no one has done it even as close to her with the exception of Madonna from back in the day. Lily Allen has made a few attempts and even Whitney Houston deserves recognition...however, when you realize Winehouse is ONLY 25, 26 years old..it's amazing.
Looking at Kanye West's blog here and there, I think it's true what he says about rock stars being dead from fame...but in the R&B (if you can really even call it that) world, Winehouse may be the closest thing we get to a rock star when it's all said and done. If 50 Cent is the "bad" guy of rap, then Amy is riding shotgun as the Bonnie of her genre...artists are too politically correct, too worried about their image (*see Drake) and overally tiresome with sex scandals (*see Cassie)...therefore, we're left at the argument I began with.
Music success. Sales and profits. Constant controversy. Mid-20s. Iconic status. Winehouse contains it all, just kill the radio hits and listen to her albums. No further discussion, I have MySpace results awaiting! -Cyrus Kyle Langhorne