Too young to fully understand the scale of her international celebrity or the staggered shock gripping the world at different moments in time all those years ago, an entire generation's connection to Amy Winehouse until and since her sudden death has largely been an indirect relationship through the Millennial artists the troubled yet inspiring singer continues to influence seven years later.
In her life, Winehouse's distinguishing 60s-era style and contralto set her apart from her contemporaries riding separate waves of throwback 80s synthpop or on a burgeoning trap and EDM takeover, yet the lasting impact of her death-along with the unique talent that disappeared as a result-ultimately impressed in some form upon numerous pop culture icons of the 00s ranging from Lady Gaga to Rihanna to Beyonce who would all incorporate jazz and neo-soul elements into their later works.
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The coincidence of social media's rise in popularity at the turn of the decade further solidified the cult status Winehouse accrued following years of paparazzi and tabloid torment. The new reality of her physical absence also renewed curiosity into the age-old tragedy of the passing of a young, charismatic visionary plagued by the toils of their own malignant fame infecting pre-existing anxieties and trauma.
Dating as far back as James Dean to as recent as XXXTentacion, the story of the contemporary mass media martyr seemingly repeats itself on at least one occasion each decade. Some, like Britney Spears, manage to survive the pitfalls of their stardom. Others are not as lucky.
It was tales like these that led Lady Gaga to document the phenomenon in The Fame and The Fame Monster, but the specific fascination surrounding Winehouse before and after her death indicated a shift towards the inescapable culture of nostalgia that made Lana Del Rey a household name, Hollywood a sequel-reboot churning machine, and Polaroids and photo grain widely popular Instagram motifs.
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The unconscious imprint left by Winehouse consequently permeates in the technology, fashion, and media consumed by today's youth taking the Back to Black artist's novelty as the new normal.
In reality, Winehouse was anything but the norm at the time of her crossover from British to international markets, but her unreplicatable image and voice would go onto shape the world she left behind, in addition to the careers of some of Gen Z's most popular singers including Dua Lipa, Ariana Grande, and Justin Bieber.
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