This last Monday was the seventh anniversary of Amy Winehouse’s death. Fans all over the world flooded social media with photos of the late singer along with lyrics to remember her by. Seven years have passed but judging from fans reactions, the wound is still fresh and her music still resonates.
Winehouse was born in North London and lived in Camden most of her adult life. When she died back in 2011, she was drinking in her Camden home when her bodyguard found her unconscious and not breathing.
Since then, Winehouse’s flat has been a place where her fans have come together to mourn her loss often with handwritten notes and gifts. The day after her passing, fans swarmed the sidewalks with flowers and memorabilia in honor of the singer. The response she received proved how much of an influence Winehouse and her two albums had on the public.
Today, the home remains a place where fans can visit and remember Winehouse and the impact she made on the industry and with fans emotionally. There is a tree across from Winehouse’s Camden home that can now be found on CityMapper as the “Amy Winehouse Tree”. Here there is a wood paneled wrap around the tree where fans have stuck notes and flowers addressed to Winehouse. Looking at the notes, it is clear that Winehouse had an established voice that reached all around the world. Notes from fans from Brazil were sticking out of the panels with admiration for the performer. There are carved notes on the tree with love messages for Winehouse as if everyone who visited the house felt a special connection with her and needed to let her know.
When I visited the flat Monday morning, I was surprised not to see any large bouquets of flowers or grand gestures of gifts displayed like pictures presented in past anniversaries. What I did find though seemed much more personal. There were a couple of fans sitting outside the flat and staring as if they were just waiting for Winehouse to open the gate and say hello. The street looked like any street in Camden would on a typical London summer day with exception of the Amy Winehouse Tree of course. Still, there was a feeling in the air with the small group of us around and the personalized notes attached to the tree that although Winehouse was physically not there, her memory and presence was felt.
Later in the night, I made my way to Camden Town where in the heart of the Camden Market, is a statue of Amy Winehouse that had been unveiled in 2014. It was here that people had come to leave the bouquets of flowers and personalized jewelry in tribute to the singer. When I arrived, there was a group of friends from France that had gathered to see the statue and take photos of it. This was the beginning of a steady stream of people that gathered to take photos with the statue and pay personal respects to Winehouse. Oddly enough, only one of the groups that I witnessed spoke English as their first language. Perhaps those fans who lived in England had already visited Winehouse’s hometown within the six years prior to now but more likely, Winehouse’s music and persona reached across cultures and regions.
Returning home, I was curious to see the response from fans on social media. #AmyWinehouse was trending on the U.K. Twitter feeds and along with it were in memoriam posts from fans and other musicians who were inspired by Winehouse. There was even a Twitter “Moments” page dedicated to the singer with collected posts that exuded nostalgia and heartbreak. Major news outlets also posted on social media posts about the performer often next to GIFs of her on their broadcasts.
On my personal feed, there were tweets and Instagram photos of Winehouse where a few of my friends and other celebrities I admired were taking the time to say “I miss you”. Social media was an outlet that allowed fans to reach out to one another and offer support on a day when in the back of their head they felt a loss. People from Vienna were reaching out to people in the United Kingdom to share their stories about how Winehouse still after seven years have affected them.
After seeing the in-person appreciation for Winehouse in Camden as well as the virtual response online, it is apparent that Winehouse has made a global musical impact. People from all over the world who were fans of hers reached out to dedicate some part of their time to remembering. It’s been seven years since the world lost Amy and it’s looking like her music and her story will stand the test of time.