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Amy Winehouse’s Legacy

Amy Asif Kapadia

A new film pays tribute to the late neo-soul singer

Amy Winehouse never wanted to be famous. As we learn in Amy, Asif Kapadia's electrifying new documentary, the highly gifted (and troubled) British soul singer thought her bluesy contralto would be perfect for divey jazz bars, and not much beyond that. Instead, she was signed by former Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller, and after the landslide success of her sophomore album, 2007's Back to Black, she quickly achieved icon status, winning five Grammy Awards. But with the accolades came tabloid scrutiny, and we know Winehouse's fate all too well: After a long battle with drug addiction, she died from alcohol poisoning at the age of 27.

A film about the singer's life was inevitable, and Kapadia does Winehouse justice, culling archival footage, home videos, and interviews with her loved ones (including her father and her notorious ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil) to paint an intimate portrait of the tragic rise and fall of one of this century's first great performers. In one moving scene, Winehouse nails the track "Back to Black" in a single brilliant studio take. It's then that we realize the full extent of our loss, and we're grateful to have a relic like this to remind us of what we had.

Amy is in select theaters July 10. Watch the trailer below:

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