Why Modern Comedians Are Cowards

Image result for Frankie Boyle

Frankie Boyle, the definition of a cowardly, conformist comedian who pretends to be edgy by being nasty to vulnerable targets.

There was a time when comedians were genuinely counter culture and willing to say things that nobody else had the guts too.

The likes of Lenny Bruce, Monty Python, Richard Pryor, and Rik Mayall, all broke new ground and were genuinely brave in some of the targets they went after. Sadly however since at least the early 2000s, most modern comedians, not all, but certainly most modern comedians in the English speaking world will only go after a target if it has been deemed acceptable to hate by the mainstream media.

Celebrities that the papparazi despise, political figures that are unpopular, religious groups that are easy meat etc. These make up all of the majority of comedians favourite targets, but they are often able to project a false idea that they are edgy by being ridiculously nasty to these easy targets.

The truth is however that the average modern comedian is a coward too afraid to go after the wrong person or group. Their opinions aren’t their own, and they are in essence, bullies who kick people when they are down.

In some ways comedians are as bad as the papparazi themsevles in terms of putting pressure on vulnerable celebrities, feeding people false narratives and reinforcing an unfair status quo, and its high time that they were being viewed with as much contempt.

In this article I have decided to compile all of the worst examples of comedians overall conforming to the status quo and being total hypocrites and bullies in the targets they go after. Hopefully by the end you will agree with me that this generation of comedians are the most conformist generation, and that will be their legacy.

Amy Winehouse and phony feminism

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Too ugly for those big hunks Jimmy Carr and Frankie Boyle apparently.

A personal example for me, since I’m such a huge fan of Amy, but still valid.

When she was alive, though she was hugely successful, Amy Winehouse was frequently made fun of on panel shows by comedians such as Frankie Boyle and Jimmy Carr.

When I was younger I hated seeing Amy get made fun of, but for many years after her death, I assumed it was just because I was a teenager with a crush on Amy. Looking back on it now however, I feel these comedians shameful treatment of Amy was as bad as the papparazi’s, yet unlike the press they are never called out on it.

This is made even worse by the fact that many of the comedians involved in kicking Amy in the teeth when she was at her lowest eb, like Frankie Boyle, Jimmy Carr and Katy Brand are now trying to reinvent themselves as feminists, lecturing the little people about how to be more tolerant.

Most of the jokes made about Amy when she was alive focused on her looks in the most disgusting and personal ways. Now fair enough some comedians, even talented ones have always made remarks about people’s looks. I personally have never liked jokes about people’s looks. I think they are nasty, childish and lazy.

Still with Amy it reached a whole new level for a number of reasons. The comments about her looks, weren’t simply gags or jokes, they were often deeply personal and even sexual in nature. Added to that I think this was the first time comedians and the press worked together to demonise someone quite so much.

Janis Joplin had to endure horrendous abuse from the papers about her looks for instance, but the comedians of the time didn’t all dogpile on her just because the press did.

Can you imagine the likes of say Lenny Bruce making jokes about he hopes Jim Morrison dies, or attacking Janis Joplin as a filthy crack whore just because the papers were against both?

Lenny Bruce was too busy attacking genuine prejudice and the catholic church (back when it was actually brave to do so.) To reinforce the opinions of the moral guardians who wanted to ban the likes of the Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix for being a bad influence.

Similarly other comedians actually went after the press, and the moral guardians who were attacking rock stars. The Goodies for instance, though ironically often dismissed as twee and silly by modern “edgy” comedians, nevertheless went after Mary Whitehouse, a conservative busy body, who tried to get The Rolling Stones music banned, censored Doctor Who for being too violent, and tried to and succeeded in getting various horror films such as The Evil Dead banned.

With poor Amy meanwhile not only did she have the papers following her everywhere she went, taking pictures of her when she was in distress and plastering them all over the papers, and magazines such as FHM and Maxim regularly voting her ugliest woman of the year. (There were even whole websites devoted to ridiculing her appearance.)

She also had hundreds of comedians joing in, posting awful pictures of her from the papers for a laugh and ridiculing her in arguably more vicious ways than even the papers.

Jimmy Carr, the host of 8 Out Of 10 Cats for instance joked that any man who slept with Amy, would have to strap something over his dick to stop diseases and smells from Amy’s disgusting, rotten vagina getting over it. He also called her an ugly, worthless, horse faced freak, and said that he hoped she would die soon. He even made jokes about her tits being shrivelled up and saggy.

Katy Brand meanwhile regularly mocked Amy’s mental health struggles, called her self obsessed and did sketches where Amy was depicted as an ugly freak, throwing herself at men who would try and kill themselves rather than kiss her.

Zoe Lyons meanwhile made a joke about Amy cutting herself (which was awarded by the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.)

Irish comedian Ed Byrne also made a joke about Amy being a good date because she was anorexic. He said you could take her out, not have to buy her anything and then pick your teeth with her legs.

Eminem famously did a video where Amy was not only depicted as repulsive, but people were vomiting at the sight of her kissing people.

Now fair enough I’m not saying that you can never make jokes about people like Winehouse. There have always been plenty of jokes about rock stars and hellraisers like Keith Richards, and Oliver Reed’s wild behaviour. Jokes about Amy drinking, or taking drugs will undoubtedly seem insensitive in hindsight after her death, but at the time I don’t think they were particularly nasty, or at least worse than anyone else got.

However again these comedians simply didn’t just joke about her lifestyle. They jumped on an incredibly vicious media bandwagon, that focused almost exclusively on Amy’s looks, the very thing she was most insecure about.

Amy Winehouse suffered from many mental health issues related to her appearance. She was anorexic, bullimic, had manic depression and she self harmed (even before she became famous.) There are interviews from the Frank era where she comments on how ugly she thinks she is. Her famous beehive even came about because of her insecurities about her looks. She said she put her hair up to draw attention away from her face.

In the later years of her life, Amy even had some plastic surgery work done to fix her “ugly face”. Of course the papers just continued to make fun of her looks anyway, even saying that she looked like more of a freak after her plastic surgery.

In 2008, Amy apparently refused to attend her 25th birthday party as she felt she was so ugly, she couldn’t be seen out in the streets.

Her boyfriend for the last few years of her life, Reg Travis also mentions that she went out less and less in the last few years of her life, as she was afraid of the paps snapping bad pictures of her. Most heartbreaking of all, Amy’s bodyguard claimed that on the night before her death she said she would give up all of her musical accomplishments, and talent in a heartbeat, just to walk down the street with no bother.

With all of this in mind I do hold these comedians partially responsible for her tragic death.

Imagine what it must have been like for Amy to constantly see all the very worst things she thought about herself being reinforced on television shows and the media in general. It has to have had an effect, and the fact that she became more of a recluse, her self harming became worse (in one incident she stumped a cigarette out on her face) and her weight dropped to catastrophic levels in the last few years of her life, only reinforces this.

Obviously Amy Winehouse had many other problems, and I’m not saying these comedians actually killed her, but they certainly made her depression worse and reinforced her worst, most destructive insecurities.

I honestly could not imagine previous generations of comedians doing the same thing to Amy. The likes of Monty Python, Rik Mayall, Lenny Bruce, and even the Goodies, all preferred to punch up instead of down, and wouldn’t have relentlessly attacked someone in such obvious distress. They also generally hated the mainstream media rather than pandered to it..

Image result for bill oddie keith moon jon pertwee

Picture of Bill Oddie, one of the Goodies on stage with Jon Pertwee and Keith Moon, the drummer from The Who. The Goodies are often dismissed by modern comedians and critics as being too twee and safe. Ironically however it was Bill Oddie that got on stage with a famous rock star, and criticised the moral busy bodies like Mary Whitehouse, whilst our modern “edgy” comedians like Jimmy Carr and Frankie Boyle joined in with the conservative media and busy body’s relentless attack on rock stars like Amy for being bad role models. Had Amy been around in the 70s, I don’t think she would have had as bad a time.

For what they did to Amy alone, I’ll never forgive this generation of comedians, but what makes it even worse is the fact that so many of them are now trying to reimagine themselves as feminists.

Back in the 00s during Amy’s heyday it was trendy for comedians to be nasty. The likes of South Park and Family Guy had made this type of humour popular, though don’t think that means I am lumping South Park and Family Guy in with the likes of Jimmy Carr.

South Park and Family Guy can be very funny and intelligent, though it can’t be denied that they both frequently let themselves down with pathetic, nasty jokes that are more needlessly cruel than funny. A prime example of this can be seen in the entire episode South Park devoted to Barbara Streisand of all people. The jokes in that episode all seemed to centre on Streisand’s looks, (particularly her unconventional big nose) which just came across as shallow bullying rather than making any clever point or criticism.

Still I wouldn’t ever call South Park or Family Guy cowards, as at the very least South Park and Family Guy are willing to attack targets that other comedians, and even the media will not such as Islam and identity politics. (Also neither Seth McFarlane or Matt Stone and Trey Parker have tried to reimagine themselves as feminists or Social Justice Warriors either. Both have at least stuck to their guns about being equal opportunity offenders.)

Still South Park and Family Guy definitely pioneered the much more outrageous, yet personal type of humour, and so the talentless sheep like Jimmy Carr, Eminem and Frankie Boyle followed suit.

Sadly however they lacked South Park or Family Guy’s wit or willingness to genuinely push the boundaries, and so all we got was essentially the worst of South Park’s humour, like the Barbara Streisand episode being parroted by these hacks.

Amy sadly was an easy target, as the comedians could say she deserved this treatment by stigmatizing both addiction and mental illness (as people who suffer from those afflictions clearly didn’t deserve sympathy according to the media.) Added to that the mainstream media would back them up by printing nothing but negative stories about her too.

Flash forward to the 2010s however and its now trendy to be a social justice warrior, championing womens rights and gay rights, and all of these same brave comedians who helped to bully an anorexic, bullimic, manic depressive woman into an early grave, are now promoting themselves as SJWs.

Here is Jimmy Carr smearing former Doctor Who star Peter Davison as sexist, because Davison said that he doesn’t think a woman should play Doctor Who

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It’s hilarious that Jimmy Carr would try and smear anyone as a misogynist after his borderline Jack the Ripper comments about Amy and her dirty vagina. What’s even worse is the fact that his comments about Davison could have negatively affected his career too.

All Peter Davison said about a female Doctor was that he thinks its a shame that little boys lost a positive role model, which is fair enough. You can’t say that a female Doctor should be a role model to little boys, but in order for the Doctor to be a role model to little girls, the character has to be a woman.

For Jimmy Carr to deliberately misinterpret that as Davison saying that no women should be allowed to be Doctors is ridiculous. (Someone should tell Jimmy that William Hartnell, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker and Matt Smith didn’t actually have medical degrees.) Still this type of mud could have easily stuck to Davison and end up becoming received wisdom, causing people to not want to work with him and his reputation to suffer.

Well looks like that female Doctor you were so desperate to see didn’t work out so well Jimmy. Who would have thought? Meanwhile how is that worthless horseface you dismissed as an ugly freak and bad role model to women’s music doing after 10 years?

Back to Black Among Top 5 Best Selling Vinyl Albums of the 21st Century

Katy Brand meanwhile in recent years has regularly spoken about misogyny in comedy. Look at these recent comments from her about how hard it is for female comedians because they are always judged so harshly for their looks.

“It’s not fair, but currently, it’s still part of the package. We live in a world where women are routinely judged on their appearance far more than men, and we also live in a world where some people still don’t like to be confronted by a woman with a brain and a mouth and a direct connection between the two. And the most useful weapon in these people’s arsenal is to try to shut you up by saying you are ugly.

Luckily, these antediluvian morons are slowly dying out or being loudly told to go away, but it still happens all the time. Remember: you are not ugly, they are just trying to make you be quiet. Don’t be quiet. Ever. Unless you are at a funeral or near a baby that has just gone to sleep.”

Here’s a sketch Katy Brand made back in 2008 about Amy, when her mental health problems were spiralling out of control.

Yep, its wrong to call people ugly Katy. (When it suits your career.)

Zoey Lyons meanwhile after winning a trophy for mocking Amy’s mental health problems. Actually has the cheek to now promote mental health awareness. She even appeared at an event called standupfordepression.

See here.

Zoe Lyons on Podcast to Destigmatize Mental Health Awareness

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival that awarded her that trophy, (and therefore made a statement that Amy’s mental health problems were to be laughed at,) have recently begun to promote mental health awareness too.

Mental Health Fringe Awareness Awards

Finally our old friend Frankie Boyle has also recently tried to reinvent himself as an SJW. He hosts a show called Frankie Boyle’s New World Order, where he regularly criticises other people in the media’s misogyny.

Recently on twitter Boyle even retweed a post slating Lawrence Fox as a misogynist, after the actors public crticism of the phrase “White Male Privilege.” Much like with Peter Davison, the current smearing of Fox as a sexist by hack comedians could end up having a disastrous effect on Fox’s career and reputation. The fact that its the same people who just ten years earlier had attempted to make Amy Winehouse, an anorexic woman’s name synonmous with “ugly” just makes you want to be sick.

Boyle had even called for Jeremy Clarkson to be fired from hosting Top Gear in 2015 after the latter made a racist joke.

Its worth noting that Jeremy Clarkson however makes jokes about all races. In this respect his comments aren’t racist, as he treats everybody the same way. Frankie Boyle however does create an unfair pecking order, where certain groups are not allowed to be ridiculed, but others are. Anorexics, victims of child abduction, cancer patients all of which Boyle has ridiculed deserve it apparently, but heaven forbid anyone get offended at Clarkson making a cheap joke about race.

This article I think sums up Frankie Boyle’s hypocrisy and cowardice perfectly.

Frankie Boyle Is a Cowardly Bully

Now fair enough we all change our opinions as we go through life. There are posts of mine from 2016, that I cringe over now. For instance I used to enjoy some of Paul Joseph Watson’s videos, but now I regard him as an utter joke.

This was one of the first videos that made me see what a tit Paul Joseph Watson is. His comments about Milo being a rock star haven’t aged well, though to be fair they were cringey at the time too.

Still if your opinions have changed dramatically, at least admit it. The likes of Jimmy Carr, Katy Brand, and Frankie Boyle however will never admit to having made those disgusting remarks about Amy Winehouse, and other famous, vulnerable women throughout the 00s. What’s worse is that when the pendulum swings backwards and there is a backlash against SJWs and woke culture, Frankie Boyle, Katy Brand and Jimmy Carr will go back to insulting famous women in nasty and misogynistic ways.

They are all the epitome of the old Groucho Marx joke “these are my principles if you don’t like them I’ve got others.”

That’s why its important to call these frauds out, both for Amy’s sake so that what she went through isn’t forgotten, and so that the likes of Boyle, Carr and Brand aren’t able to do the same to anybody else in the future, without being seen as the hypocritical bullies they are.

Image result for Lawrence FoxImage result for Peter Davison

Peter Davison and Lawrence Fox, the true faces of misogyny. At least according to Frankie Boyle and Jimmy Carr. Sure, Boyle and Carr may have taken part in a vile, misogynistic backlash towards a truly talented and inspirational woman, solely for her looks, and mental health problems like anorexia. Boyle may also have made jokes about Kerry Katona (a woman with an eating disorder) being fat, and made jokes about Jordan wanting to rape her blind son. Still at least they didn’t say that a woman can’t play Doctor Who, or criticise the ignorant and racist phrase White Male Privilege.

Donald Trump, Barack Obama and faux anti establishment.

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Many modern comedians such as Frankie Boyle and Jimmy Carr will often make out they are anti establishment by criticising powerful political figures such as Donald Trump, or George W Bush.

Now unlike with Amy, I certainly have no problems with criticising the likes of Trump. Whilst I think he was less of a war monger than Hillary Clinton (at least in 2016.) He is still opposed to many things I believe in, such as free healthcare and he is also a flip flopper who has gone back on many of his election promises.

Still whilst Trump may be the President, criticising him is not a brave thing to do. The media despises Trump. It was completely biased against him during the 2016 election, and openly admitted too it.

See here 92 percent of coverage of Trump is negative

Attacking Trump is therefore not the same thing as Monty Python going after religion in the 70s, when it was more of a taboo subject and they actually faced repurcussions, (with Life of Brian being banned in certain areas.)

Slating Trump is an easy, obvious thing to do, hence why every cowardly comedian will fill their act with nothing but Trump jokes. They’re not really being anti establishment. They are just attacking an easy figure head.

In contrast look at how few jokes there were against Barack Obama from comedians. Obama was every bit as bad as Trump for the most part. That’s the point, the President isn’t actually that important. Its the entire system around them that is corrupt, hence why nothing much has changed whether its Clinton, Bush, Obama or Trump. They are all guilty of war crimes, launching regime change wars, and imposing sanctions on other countries. Trump so far ironically has probably done the least on an international level, but that could of course change as he has already launched several reckless attacks against other countries such as Iran and Syria.

Still in the grand scheme of things Obama was certainly not any better than either his republican predecessor or successor.

Obama helped to destablise Libya, which not only threw the country into anarchy, but led to a rise in Isis. He also deported far more people than Trump and ramped up the use of drone strikes from Bush.

See here.

Barack Obama Drone Strikes

Obama the war criminal, and butcher of women and children

Yet all of these edgy comedians were as silent as ghosts when it was Obama commiting the exact same, or worse war crimes than Trump, simply because the media loved Obama.

With this in mind far from being satirists, I think that modernn comedians with their insane hatred of Trump actually end up supporting the corrupt system they claim to rally against.

Trump in the grand scheme of things is irrelevent. He is just another puppet leader for the war hawks around him. Ironically the only reason he became such a hate figure in the first place was because he challenged the war hawks narrative during his 2016 election campaign, and challenged their preferred candidate, the biggest war hawk in American politics, Hillary Clinton. Trump promised to end regime change wars, improve relations with Russia and pull out of the middle east. Of course he has since gone back on most of these promises, which is a genuine reason to hate him. Still even then that just makes him the same as his predecessors.

Making out that Trump is some evil dictator and that all that matters is getting rid of him however, lets those behind the scenes away with it. Now they can dupe the public that everything will be okay, just as long as he is gone, and we get a more presentable President. We saw exactly this with Bush and Obama. Both supported illegal wars, but nobody cared when Obama did it, because he was handsome, the first black President etc.

The majority of Western comedians support and love for Hillary Clinton proves the dangers of their Trump hatred.

Comedians on series such as Saturday Night Live actually tried to paint Hillary’s loss as a bad thing. Fair enough you might think she was the lesser of two evils, (I don’t) but to try and create a positive cult of personality around this war hawk, just because she wasn’t Trump was shameful.

Meanwhile this is what Hillary Clinton actually represents.

With this in mind its a good thing Trump won, not only because of how dangerous Hillary was, but also because if Hillary had won, then the media would have been on her side and so would the edgy satirists. We would have been told how she is a step forward, even as she was continuing the same hawkish policies as Bush and Obama, simply because she was the first female President.

The comedians endorsement of Hillary and other establishment figures in some ways is actually worse than the papers, as everybody expects the papers to not be impartial. Comedians however like Jimmy Carr and Frankie Boyle will always try and justify their vile remarks about easy targets like Amy Winehouse with “no one is safe.” Turns out they are if they are in with the media like Hillary, which just helps to legitimise Hillary to the general public.

Finally as if that wasn’t enough, most modern comedians don’t even hate Trump for the right reasons.

Ian Hislop, a popular British satirist criticises Trump for his supposed sexism and bigotry. Not once has Hislop mentioned Trump’s spinelessness in standing up for Julian Assange. Assange’s arrest is a threat against free speech, and whistleblowers everywhere. What’s worse is that Trump had previously supported Assange when it benefited him in 2016. Now however he is happy to see Assange tortured and imprisoned.

Yet Hislop, a journalist focuses instead on the fact that Trump said pussy 15 years ago.

Eminem meanwhile, whilst not a comedian, still has the same mindset as most modern comics, and did shoot to fame for making humorous and supposedly outrageous statements in his songs so I feel its important to mention him.

Eminem is a total coward who like most comedians, only goes after people if its trendy or safe.

Want proof? Just look at his diss track against Trump, where he ranted about how intolerant and bigoted Trump is.

See here

I’ma walk inside a mosque on Ramadan
And say a prayer that every time Melania talks

Racism’s the only thing he’s fantastic for
‘Cause that’s how he gets his f*cking rocks off and he’s orange!

Same sh*t that he tormented Hillary for and he slandered
Then does it more
From his endorsement of Bannon
Support from the Klansmen
Tiki torches in hand for the soldier that’s black
And comes home from Iraq
And is still told to go back to Africa
Fork and a dagger in this racist 94-year-old grandpa

The great irony of all this is that Eminem is far more bigoted than Trump. Eminem’s early songs included lyrics about gay people being creepy predators, and torturing gay people.

Again whilst people’s opinions do change, Eminem has tried to justify these vile lyrics by saying that he wasn’t really being homophobic, as he just uses fag as a general insult. Its true that fag was used as a general insult in the 2000s, but when you look at the context of Eminem’s lyrics its very clear the context he was using fag in.

My words are like a dagger with a jagged edge
That’ll stab you in the head, whether you’re a fag or lez
Or a homosex, hermaph or a trans-a-vest
Pants or dress, hate fags? The answer’s yes
Homophobic? Nah, you’re just heterophobic
Staring at my jeans, watching my genitals bulgin’
That’s my motherfuckin’ balls, you’d better let go of ’em
They belong in my scrotum, you’ll never get hold of ’em!

See what I mean about how this isn’t like Spike from Buffy calling Xander a poof without thinking. This is a very specific rant about gay men wanting what’s in his balls, and outright admission of hating not just gay men, but all LGBT people. It was done at a time when people were less accepting of gays, and Eminem was clearly trying to cash in on a particular audience.

Furthermore here are some of the lovely things he’s said about women.

I told this bitch in gym class
That she was too fat to swim laps, she need a Slim Fast
(Who? Me?) Yeah, bitch, you so big
You walked into Vic Tanny’s and stepped on Jenny Craig
She picked me up to snap me like a skinny twig
Put me in a headlock, then I thought of my guinea pig
I felt the evilness and started transformin’
It began stormin’, I heard a bunch of cheering fans swarmin’
Grabbed that bitch by her hair, drug her across the ground
And took her up to the highest diving board
And tossed her down
Sorry coach, it’s too late to tell me stop
While I drop this bitch face down and watch her belly flop”

And to think with lyrics like these, it was Amy Winehouse that comedians dog piled on.

With this in mind how can Eminem possibly have any moral high ground when it comes to Trump’s bigotry? How can he possibly claim that Trump is trying to divide us?

Its Eminem, not Trump whose been spewing hateful, violent rhetoric against gay people for over 20 years. Furthermore Eminem claims to hate Trump for picking on and slandering Hillary, a woman, yet he kicked Amy Winehouse into the dirt when she was in a vulnerable position in terms of her personal life and career in 2009.

Tell me Em what was more sexist, and more of a case of punching down? Attacking an anorexic, bullimic woman for her looks in a video watched by millions of people, or attacking a rival Presidential candidate using their own history.

Hillary the war hawk

Eminem doesn’t have a leg to stand on against Trump. When it comes to hatred of women, Trump is a novice compared to Eminem.

Eminem may have had a point against Trump if he was going to attack him for his foreign policy. The problem however is Eminem is too stupid, or lazy to analyse Trump’s foreign policy blunders.

He does mention that Trump will kill us all in a nuclear holocaust, but he doesn’t provide any reason for thinking that other than ORANGE MAN BAD! Furthermore he then goes on to praise Obama and later white knights for Hillary, both of whom helped to tear Libya apart. (Hillary is by far and away the biggest war hawk in all of US politics.)

Libya is a failed state

With all of this in mind its obvious that Eminem’s hatred of Trump is just because its trendy to hate Trump. He literally has no other reason. Its certainly not because Trump is so bigoted, as Eminem when it suits him is partial to a bit of bigotry. Its also not for anything political as Eminem probably couldn’t even name the countries Trump has genuinely antagonised. Much like his bullying of Amy Winehouse and gay people, Eminem’s diss track to Trump is entirely because the media says its trendy to hate Trump.

Islam vs Christianity

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Probably the worst example of the modern day comedians cowardice is their refusal to attack Islam.

Now I am not advocating for Muslims to be stigmatised, or for Islam to be attacked more than any other religion. There are specific problems with Islam yes, but that is besides the point.

If comedians do genuinely believe that no target should be off limits, why are there so few jokes about Islam compared to other religions (particularly Christianity and Scientology.)

First of all there is the fear of violent retaliation from Islamic extremists, such as the attack on Charlie Hebdo in 2015. Even then however I feel that is somewhat exaggerated.

If every comedian regularly made jokes about Islam, or if they had all retweeted the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, or the Danish cartoons, then Islamic extremists would lose their power. They couldn’t kill every single comedian in the country could they? When its an isolated, small paper, then its obviously easy to target them. In this respect the Jimmy Carr’s of this world leave the truly brave comedians out in the cold.

Furthermore I think that that comedians are actually more scared of being smeared as racists if they go after Islam. Its not racist to criticise Islam, as Islam is a religion, not a race. Sadly however shallow people in the media will conflate criticism of Islam with racism, simply because many Muslims are dark skinned. Ironically however Muhammed was actually white.

Check out these quotes from the Hadith.

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Malik: Ibn Buhaina, “When the Prophet prayed, he used to separate his arms from his body so widely that the whiteness of his armpits was visible.

‘Amir b. Sa’d reported: I saw the Messenger of Allah (may peace be open him) pronouncing taslim on his right and on his left till I saw the whiteness of his cheek.

Jurairi reported: I said to Abu Tufail: Did you see Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him)? He said: Yes, he had a white handsome face. Muslim b. Hajjaj said: Abu Tufail who died in 100 Hijra was the last of the Companions of Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him).

Still Islam is seen as the “dark people’s” religion by the media and so it has become immune to criticism.

Ultimately however all these brave and edgy comedians do is stigmatise Muslims. The majority of Muslims in the west are not fanatics, and so whilst they might not like their religion being criticised, they are not goint to react with violence. By making out that all criticism of Islam is off limits however, whilst going after other religions so unapologetically. Comedians end up creating a myth that all Muslims can’t take a joke, which creates a greater resentment towards the Muslim community from the general public, particularly other religious groups.

How are Christians supposed to feel when they see comedians mocking their holy figure, calling all Christians stupid (which they frequently do) and paint Christians as bigots, whilst these same comedians, write articles for the Guardian about Islamopobia.

Frankie Boyle goes as far as to lie to cover up Islam’s failings.

See these quotes from Frankie Boyle.

“People seem concerned to make sure that Islam gets its full share of the blame, so we get the unedifying circus of neocons invoking God as much as the killers. “Well, Isis say they’re motivated by God.” Yes, and people who have sex with their pets say they’re motivated by love, but most of us don’t really believe them.”

“Isis want to destroy the knowledge that Islam is a beautiful, scientific and intelligent culture.”

“The U.S attacking Islam is like a serial killer being annoyed when the people locked in his basement start praying.”

As you can see, Frankie Boyle tries to severe any link between Islam and terrorist groups such as Isis, which is not completely true. There are verses in the Quran which command its followers to attack and subjugate all non Muslims.

Here are some quotes from the Quran that have directly inspired Isis.

“When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”

“The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement,”

“The Prophet said if you anyone doing as Lots People did, kill the one doing it and the one to whom it is done.”

Remind me what is it that Isis do to their enemies and gay men again Frankie?

ISIS release video of beheading

ISIS chop hands off

ISIS Continue To Murder Gay Men

I don’t know, looks like they are chopping people’s heads and hands off just like Muhammed ordered Frankie.

Again this is not to say that all Muslims follow these violent verses, or that there are no violent passages in other holy books like the Old Testament. The difference is Frankie Boyle doesn’t try and cover these passages up and gush about how beautiful and intelligent these others religions are.

For contrast here are his comments on Catholicism.

“You’d think the Catholic Church would be in favour of using condoms as it would mean less priests being caught using DNA tests.”

“The Pope must have done something that even the Catholic Church found unacceptable. My theory is he fucked an adult woman.”

Comedians try and get round this double standard through various lame excuses, such as Dara O’Brien claiming that comedians can’t make jokes about Islam because they don’t know enough about it.

Funny I don’t recall Dara O’Brien extending that same privilege to other groups. Again what about Amy Winehouse? When he let Frankie Boyle call her an ugly, junkie, horse face on his show Mock the Week, did Dara O’Brien pull him up and say “we don’t know enough about addiction, or anorexia, or depression to joke about it.” No he didn’t and I wonder why?

Could it be because again he didn’t have to worry about violent retaliation or social stigma from his London bubble friends?

At the end of the day these cowardly comedians have ironically turned Islam into what Christianity was for the right back in the day.

Its hilarious (far more so than anything Frankie Boyle has ever said in his career.) Almost all modern comedians admire Monty Python and Life of Brian and what it did for free speech.

Back in the 70s it was genuinely brave to attack the Christian faith to the extent that Monty Python did. They were smeared as heretics, Life of Brian was banned in certain areas of the UK as a result.

At the same time however, Life of Brian wasn’t just nasty for no reason. It made valid points about religious dogma, and the hypocrisy of certain groups who claim to follow Christ’s teachings yet carry out acts that would be completely abhorent to him, (such as the famous scene were Brian’s followers murder a helpless old blind man whilst he begs them not too.)

Unlike Frankie Boyle, Monty Python didn’t need to overcompensate and be nasty because they’d picked a good target. Still whilst Frankie Boyle may feel he is carrying on Monty Python’s legacy, in truth he and other cowards like him are carrying on the legacy of those who would have censored the Python’s jokes about Christianity with their craven cowtowing to Islam.

Kicking people when they are down

Image result for Eminem michael jackson

Eminem a brave funny man who called Michael Jackson a pedo when he was alive, only to praise him as a misunderstood genius after his death.

Its not just a question of modern comedians are too shit scared to go after genuinely unpopular targets like Islam, or Barack Obama, or identity politics, or even that they only go after safe targets. They will all also dogpile on people when they are at their lowest eb.

We’ve already seen how they may very well have helped to drive Amy Winehouse to an early grave, but there are many more examples of comedians kicking someone when they are down.

Kerry Katona, a popular British pop star who suffered from body issues and severe depression wwas a frequent target of Frankie Boyle’s back in the day. He would regularly ridicle her weight problems and her looks on almost every episode of the dire panel show, Mock the Week.

What increase in population will Kerry Katona be responsible for by the time her womb finally succumbs to the ravages of  time and chicken drumsticks?’…..

Similarly Britney Spears much like Amy Winehouse suffered from severe mental health problems and was routinely ridiculed in nasty ways by the mainstream media and comedians for those problems and her looks.

Comedians would always argue that the likes of Amy Winehouse, Britney Spears, and Kerry Katona were fair game because of their mental health problems, which not only stigmatises mental health, but also doesn’t hold up under much scrutiny either.

None of these comedians ever went after Kate Moss in the same way. Kate Moss also had problems with drugs and alcohol and an on again, off again relationship with Pete Doherty, yet there were never anywhere near as many vicious remarks about her. There were plenty of jokes about her drug taking, but never horrible drawn out remarks about her looks in quite the same way.

The reason for that was because to start with Kate Moss was more conventional looking. Whilst Amy Winehouse was strikingly beautiful when she was healthy, (far more beautiful than Kate Moss in my opinion) she was still always unconventional with her darker looks, long nose and face, and tatoos.

Image result for amy winehouse beautifulImage result for kate moss

You can see how of the two of them, Kate Moss has the more conventional looks. Similarly Kerry Katona whilst again not ugly by any stretch of the imagination, was somewhat curvier than most modern pop stars. Britney Spears meanwhile when suffering her breakdown did things like shave her head which obviously made her appear more unconventional than Kate Moss.

Furthermore Kate Moss never looked as though she was in severe distress either. Whilst she may have had a wild lifestyle, we never saw her break down in tears, be rushed to hospital for a suicide attempt, or even publicly mention that she had bullimia.

Moss therefore was not a vulnerable target that the media and comedians together could really upset and bully in quite the same way. Kate Moss also wasn’t frequently voted ugliest woman of the year by the papers, and magazines like FHM and Maxim like Amy Winehouse was, so again that made Amy a much better target than Kate Moss.

Its not just celebrities however that comedians will kick when they are down. The classic British sci fi series Doctor Who was a prime example during the 90s and the 00s.

Doctor Who was the worlds longest running sci fi series. It lasted from 1963-1989 originally. During its heyday, Doctor Who was arguably the most popular British series in the world.

Sadly however it suffered a fall from grace in the mid to late 80s. Whilst there were some problems with the production team, ultimately the real reason Doctor Who came to an end in the 80s was because the heads of the BBC at that time, Michael Grade and Jonathan Powell despised the show.

Both of them slashed the shows budget, causing it to always look cheap and poorly made. (They both then slated its special effects in the media.) Both also put the show on hiatus in 1985 out of pure dislike. Its viewers were nowhere near low enough for cancellation, and far from being a show that the public were tired of, there was a national outrage after it was taken off. (It made the front page of the papers, and there were hundreds of thousands of complaints to Michael Grade.)

Grade and Powell were forced to simply put Doctor Who on a hiatus, the backlash was so strong. They had originally cancelled it completely.

The two also ensured that it had no publicity, fired its leading man Colin Baker (and in doing so not only went against his contract, but left producer John Nathan Turner with just a few months to get the new series made, with a new Doctor.)

Grade also forced JNT and the production team to make the show lighter and sillier in 7th Doctor Slyvester McCoy’s first year. Grade said this was to counteract claims the show had been too violent, but it was just to undermine the show. After Grade left at the end of McCoy’s first series, the show used a much darker characterisation for the 7th Doctor, that the production team had wanted from the start.

Powell also told producer John Nathan Turner to not pursue legal proceedings against former script editor, Eric Saward after the latter had slandered him in the press. Powell openly admitted that this was terrible advice and only advised JNT against pursuing legal action because “he hoped it would be another nail in his coffin” Powell was even on record as stating “I hoped John Nathan Turner would fuck off and die.”

As if that wasn’t enough, Grade and Powell also placed the show on at the same time as Coronation Street (which was getting over 30 million viewers at that time. In one instance they placed Doctor Who opposite both Coronation Street and an England qualifier for the World Cup, which not surprisingly saw Doctor Who’s viewers drop to the lowest they had ever been.)

Finally Powell and Grade also raised the prices of 7th Doctor stories to the highest they had ever been, which effectively killed the massive overseas following the show had developed over the years.

With all of this in mind, Doctor Who in the 80s really didn’t have a chance, regardless of the quality of the show. Its worth noting that whilst the 80s does contain some weak seasons, towards the end, it is generally agreed that the show saw a marked improvement.

Many stories from the last two seasons such as Remembrance of the Daleks and Curse of Fenric and Survival have proven to be hugely popular in the decades since. Both Remembrance and Curse were voted among the greatest Doctor Who stories of all time in the 00s. Remembrance has also proven to be one of the best selling stories on video and later DVD.

Still thanks to the smear campaign, the shows viewers tanked and finally in 1989 Doctor Who was cancelled.

Throughout the next decade or so whilst the show still remained hugely popular on video and later DVD, the media would regularly slate it as an embarassment that deserved to be cancelled. Comedians on panel shows would of course join in and regularly show clips from the very worst episodes to humiliate the series.

Without doubt the worst example was when Paul Merton, a popular British comedian put Doctor Who into Room 101 at the behest of Michael Grade himself.

You can see how modern comedians love to punch down with this in mind. This isn’t just a case of a comedian makes a cheap joke about Doctor Who and fans of the show can’t take it. This is the man who did everything he could to kill the show, and acted in the most unpofessional manner when doing so, being allowed to present a totally one sided case and gloat to its fans about how he was right, and make out to subsequent generations that he was. He went against Colin Baker’s contract when firing him, he took the show off when it was still making massive money for the BBC.

On top of that his actions also ruined the careers of many people involved in Doctor Who, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and John Nathan Turner. Though Colin and McCoy’s careers would recover in the decades after, JNT’s never did.

For Paul Merton, an edgy comedian to kick Doctor Who when it was in such a vulnerable position was really low, but to actually have the guy who unfairly killed it gloat and only show bad clips to back up his point, and laugh alone while he basically went “HA HA HA HA I KILLED IT AND ITS STILL A JOKE HA HA HA” is a level of punching down that might actually eclipse the smear campaign against Amy Winehouse.

Again whilst previous comedians may have made jokes about things like Star Trek, and Doctor Who, they didn’t kick it when it was down to such an extent as to bring the guy who finished it in to gloat to an audience of millions.

Its made worse by the fact that after Doctor Who returned to television in 2005, and became a media darling once again. Paul Merton would later praise it. He even appeared in a Doctor Who themed advert for Have I Got News For You. Then again you wouldn’t expect a modern comedian’s opinions to not be sanctioned by the press would you?

Conclusion

As you can see modern comedians love to punch down, and are really bullies whose idea of being edgy is just to be nasty to acceptable targets.

Their opinions always have to be sanctioned by the majority and they have been responsible for reinforcing nasty opinions and untruths to the general public.

I think its high time these comedians were called out regularly for their spinelessness. It annoys me the way people will always go on about hating the press, yet modern comedians who are just an extension of the press are always let off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Influence of Amy Winehouse

Continuing the theme from previous posts, in this article we will be taking a look at Amy’s impact and influence on popular culture.

We will be looking at the artists she inspired, how she reinvigorated the stagnated British music scene and how she kicked started a major interest in British entertainment abroad.

The Third British Invasion

Amy Winehouse has been credited by many including, Adele, Florence Welch, Duffy and Lady Gaga with kick starting a third British Invasion.

Now this British invasion was not quite as large as the one from the 1960’s, but still I think its safe to say that since the release of “Back to Black”, British music and indeed forms of entertainment have seen a sharp rise in popularity.

In the early 2000’s British musics popularity in the United States was at an all time low. Less than 2 percent of the top 100 albums in the United States were from the United Kingdom.

In April 2002 for the first time since the 1960’s there were no British singles on the Billboard 100 singles chart.

When Amy Winehouse first emerged, British music in America had basically returned to where it had been when the Beatles first rose to fame.

In between 2002 and 07 there would be a few British artists who would enjoy success in America, but ultimately it wasn’t until after Back to Black’s release that a real wave of British artists began to emerge in the US.

Back to Black enjoyed record breaking success in America. It was at the time of its release the highest ranking debut album by a British female artist in the Billboard 200 charts history. It also caused Amy Winehouse to win more Grammy’s in a single night than any other British artist at that point in the award shows history. In fact it was also the largest amount of wins by a female artist at that point too, though Amy was not the only woman to win 5 Grammy’s by 2008.

Following the release of Back to Black many more British artists began to enjoy success in America.

Between 2007 and 2008 the year of Back to Black’s release albums by British artists increased from 8 percent to 10 percent of the market.

In 2008 the likes of Duffy, Leona Lewis and Adele enjoyed both commercial and critical success in the American market. Adele would go on to win 2 Grammy’s in 2009 whilst Leona Lewis’s album Spirit reached number 1 on the Billboard 200 charts.

Leona Lewis became the first British solo artist to debut on the American charts with a debut album. In 2009 there were  a total of 16 Grammy awards given to British artists. Susan Boyle would then go on to have the best selling album in America in 2009 and has had a number of hit albums and singles ever since. Jay Sean topped the charts in 2009 whilst Taio Cruz topped the Billboard 200 in 2010. Other artists to enjoy success on the billboard 200 in this time include Estelle, MIA and Muse who were named Billboard Alternative and Rock artist of 2010. Florence and the Machine’s debut album “Lungs” also enjoyed commercial success in America when it was released there at the end of 2009. It eventually sold over a million copies in America and was a top 20 hit on the charts.

By 2011, 1 in 8 albums sold in America were by British artists. The likes of Jessie J, Ellie Goulding, Adele, Mumford and Sons and Florence and the Machine all had massive success that year. Adele in particular broke several records and had the best selling album stateside in 2011 and 2012. Since then the likes of Tinie Tempah and One Direction have continued to have mainstream success in America.

Now I am not saying that all of these artists owe all of their success to Amy Winehouse, but its definitely fair to say that the rise of Amy Winehouse created a large demand for British artists. Particularly British female artists. Its no coincidence that most of the artists to enjoy massive commercial success after Amy were women. Leona Lewis, Adele, Florence Welch and Susan Boyle.

In the few years before Amy, British music was at the lowest point it had ever been in America. The year after her record breaking success in 2009 we have British artists like Adele winning multiple grammy’s and others like Leona Lewis topping the charts and then Susan Boyle having the best selling album of the year in 2009. Followed by in 2011, for the first time in quarter of a century, the top 3 albums on the American Billboard 200 all being by British artists.

Many have attributed the rise of British artists to Amy, including not only the British artists who have enjoyed success in America in recent years, such as Adele, but also many prominent music critics as well.

Spin magazine music editor Charles Aaron referred to Amy Winehouse as the “Nirvana” moment for artists like Adele and Duffy. Whilst Keith Caulfield the chart manager for Billboard stated that it was because of Amy that the American marketplace was able to get singers like Adele, Estelle and Duffy among others.

In addition to a rise in the popularity of British music, a rise in other forms of British entertainment has taken place since Back to Black’s release. British television from the late 00’s began to enjoy more widespread popularity in America. Merlin for instance in 2009 was shown on NBC, a mainstream American channel. The revival of Doctor Who as we all know also began to gain popularity stateside from late 2009 onward, with each season gaining higher viewing figures than the last.

Other British shows like Torchwood, Sherlock, Downton Abbey and Top Gear have also enjoyed success in America in the following years.

In this respect Amy WInehouse can really be seen as The Beatles of the 00’s. I am not saying that Amy’s influence could ever compare to The Beatles overall. No one can compare to the Beatles in terms of impact and influence, and I doubt anyone ever really will come close to matching their success.

However Amy’s role though on a smaller scale was the same in her generation as The Beatles was in their generation. Both the Beatles and Amy made it big in America in a time when it was very difficult for a British artist to enjoy success over there, and both laid down the template for the others who followed in their wake.

With the Beatles it was bands like Herman’s Hermits and The Rolling Stones following in their wake in America, whilst with Amy it was female solo artists like Adele, Susan Boyle, Estelle and Duffy. Also The Beatles established the British invasion of the 60’s as a Rock invasion, whilst Amy established the British invasion of the late 00’s as being primarily a Soul invasion.

The only difference was that Amy sadly was unable to enjoy the wave she created. Whilst the Beatles continued to make albums throughout the 60’s. Amy sadly due to her problems was never able to produce a follow up, making Back to Black her only big hit over there. I am in no doubt that had it not been for the problems plaguing her she would have continued to enjoy success in America and produce more quality albums.

Sadly however I suppose she is now more comparable to The Sex Pistols in the sense of like them she left a big impact with a small body of work. The Sex Pistols who have been massively influential on both British and American bands produced a grand total of one studio album!

Still there is no denying that Amy’s influence on the American music market was big and long lasting. Now almost 10 years after Back to Black’s release in America. Its influence over there can still be felt.

Rise in Non Sexualized Performers

Image result for adele

Now Adele is often given the credit for this which as we all know I find to be unfair.

Amy Winehouse was among the first contemporary, massively successful British female performers who did not have an overtly sexualized image.

There is nothing wrong with female performers using their looks or sex appeal. Plenty of male performers do it, so I don’t see any problem with women doing it.

However at the same time it is good to see female and male performers who rely solely on their music enjoy success, and again I think you can attribute the recent wave of female performers who rely solely on their voices, to Amy.

Amy certainly relied on her voice and she dressed in very unconventional clothes. Styles that were last popular in the 1960’s!

Whenever she performed she did not need back up dancers or to dance around or anything like that. She could wow the audience with her voice alone. After her rise to fame we start seeing many more female performers of this ilk such as Adele, Susan Boyle and Emeli Sande.

I am not saying Amy WInehouse was the first female performer not to use her looks to sell music even from her generation. The likes of Amy Lee debuted before her. However again I think it was Amy who really lead to a wave of female artists like this. Amy was after all marketed for her voice and her voice alone, and therefore after her global success other artists started being marketed for their voice like Adele Susan Boyle, Paloma Faith, Florence Welch and Emeli Sande. If you want to give an artist credit for allowing female performers to be big without having to star in overtly sexualized videos then its Amy not Adele you should give the credit to.

Rise in Eccentric performers

Many have credited Winehouse with paving the way for more eccentric and unconventional female performers as well.

Lady Gaga herself has frequently mentioned this. She said that she never felt she would have been signed, as she was too offbeat for record execs. She said seeing Amy Winehouse who was as eccentric as anyone could possibly be gave her the confidence she needed to make it.

Once again you can see a rise in more eccentric and offbeat female performers after Amy’s success. Paloma Faith, Florence Welch, Shingai Shoniwa, Jessie J, Lady Gaga and Lana Del Rey all of whom have credited Winehouse with making the general public more accepting of their unusual style.

Rise in Soul Singers

Winehouse’s success led to a major revival in the popularity of soul singers on both sides of the pond. The most obvious examples of this are Duffy, Estelle, Florence Welch Adele and Paloma Faith. Many have also referred to the third British invasion that Winehouse started as a “British Soul Invasion” as well. Following the release of Back to Black many of the best selling albums in the UK have been soul albums. In 2008 Duffy’s Rockferry was the best selling album in the entire United Kingdom. In 2011 it was Adele’s 21, whilst in 2012 it was Emeli Sande’s Our Version of Events.

Rise in Solo Female Performers

Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen have both been credited with a rise in popularity of solo female singers in both the United Kingdom and abroad.

From about 2007 on female performers started to dominate the music market.

In 2007 2008 and 2009 the best selling albums in the United Kingdom were all made by women. Back to Black in 2007, Rockferry by Duffy in 2008 and I Dreamed a Dream by Susan Boyle in 2009.  In 2011 and 2012 the best selling albums of the year in the United Kingdom were also by women 21 by Adele and Our Version of Events by Emeli Sande.

In addition to this other female performers like Florence Welch, Lana Del Rey, Lady Gaga, Paloma Faith, Ellie Goulding have also all enjoyed massive success on the British charts too.

Abroad meanwhile the likes of Susana Boyle, Lady Gaga, Adele, Caro Emerald, and Lana Del Rey have dominated the charts.

Once again the third British Invasion abroad has also been referred to as “The Female invasion”. In 2009 the British media declared it the year of the women, due to five women being nominated for the prestegious Mercury prize.

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article6725104.ece

The year of the women was once again attributed to both Winehouse and Lily Allen. Again obviously this is not saying that there were no successful women in music before Amy, or no waves of highly popular female singers either. However these things come in waves. Boy bands for instance were popular in the 60s thanks to the Beatles only to fade somewhat in the 70s, and then re-emerge in the 90s. Similarly I think its fair to say that Amy led to a rise in popularity at that time of solo female singers, and allowed them to really dominate the market again.

Artists Directly Inspired by Winehouse

The following are very notable artists that have been inspired by Amy Winehouse. Included are quotes from said artists about Amy’s influence on them.

Emeli Sande

“I LOVE Amy Winehouse she was a big inspiration to me”

“I would have loved to work with Amy Winehouse”  When asked who would have been her ultimate artist to work with.

Interview with Sande on how Back to Black convinced her not to hold anything back as a song writer.

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=6&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CDAQFjAF&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.co.uk%2Fprogrammes%2Fp00m1910&ei=S-4NVbfxGY6t7Ab1m4GIDg&usg=AFQjCNEB6tKt86w8ZX1D9TTPphsF9tRpVQ&sig2=RIhPsSKKLfZ5-b6jWSm6lQ

Ellie Goulding

“She’ll be an inspiration not just because of her music but because she was an icon and legend.”

“She helped pave the way for females like me in America. She seemed to have so much love for everybody”

Caro Emerald

“She was my big inspiration. When she came along there wasn’t much Jazz or swing in the charts. But Amy sexed up the whole genre. I discovered her while studying Jazz at the Amsterdam Conservatory”

Lady Gaga

“Of course you always listen to the greats. Amy Winehouse was great”

“Amy changed pop music forever. I remember knowing there was hope and feeling not alone because of her. She lived Jazz, She lived the blues.”

I will always have a very deep love for Winehouse. I don’t believe that what I do is very digestible and somehow Amy was the flu for pop music. Everybody got a little bit of flu and got over it and fell in love with Amy Winehouse And now when more flu comes along its not so unbearable”

Amy is a real artist. There is something about her that is so honest”.

Lana Del Rey

Image result for lana del rey

“I believe in Amy Winehouse. I know she’s not with us anymore, but I believe who she was and in that way she got it right”

Rebecca Ferguson

“She’s one of my big influences. She was real and she wasn’t in it for the fame. She was artistic and her music was lovely.”

Florence Welch

Interview with Florence on Back to Black

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=10&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CEsQFjAJ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.co.uk%2Fprogrammes%2Fp00m191v&ei=FPcNVZKmBNXgapyHgMgL&usg=AFQjCNFSeojHKlMUrtAku_QF6ikHZH_qPQ&sig2=C_h88ibo0nUVLVMDkiiKEA

Laura Mvula

” I don’t talk about Amy Winehouse as a singer. She’s a pioneer. I listened to her endlessly when I started writing.”

Sam Smith

I Miss Amy Winehouse so fucking much. Her music still inspires just as much as it did the first day I heard it”

Bruno Mars

I felt like everything I’ve been saying everything I wanted to do she did it. It was one of those things like Damn it Damn it! It was perfect”

You couldn’t put it in a box cause it could be played on rock stations, it could be played on rhythmic stations it could be played on pop radio and I’ve always wanted to make music like that that could be spread out and can’t be pigeon held to one thing. And they did it her and Mark Ronson.”

Tom Jones

Yes believe it or not Amy Winehouse influenced Tom Jones comeback album in 2008.

“We’ve been thinking of doing this for a while now, doing a retro sound but new and Amy Winehouse she cracked it! When that album came out, my son called me right away and said you know what we’ve been talking about? Listen to this.”

Jessie J

Image result for Jessie J

“Without Amy Winehouse I would never have been signed.”

“Amy definitely paved the way for people like me and Adele. She broke boundaries, she set the standard. She wrote music that went worldwide. Until that point British female artists hadn’t really done anything since Annie Lennox. That was a long time ago” 

“I kind of feel like Amy brought it back and I don’ t think that she even realized that she did”

” I feel like- especially for me and I definitely think that Adele feels the same – I will not let her down and I will carry on from where she set the standard. Its an honor to be here and I will be thinking of her.”

Paloma Faith

Image result for Paloma Faith

“She paved the way for me and others like me and her legacy will live on timeless and infinite all at the same time. I am so moved and so grateful for what she contributed to our generation of music and only sad she wont be around to do more.”

Adele (of course)

“Amy paved the way for artists like me and made people excited about British music again. Grateful to have been inspired by her”

Conclusion

As you can see Amy Winehouse left a huge impact on popular culture and on the music industry. Though her body of work was sadly small, her influence was anything but. The most popular artists to have emerged since have all been directly inspired by her. Adele, Lady Gaga, Sam Smith, Lana Del Rey and Paloma Faith. Its doubtless that she will continue to inspire many others. As Paloma herself said her legacy is timeless and infinite at the same time.

Amy Winehouse and Adele

In the last article we took a look at the comparisons between Amy WInehouse and Paloma Faith. Now we will be looking at the the comparisons, as well as the friendship between Amy Winehouse and another beloved British soul singer, Adele Laurie Blue Adkins.

Now Adele and Amy Winehouse are probably the two most prominent British artists of the past 30 years.

Their second albums are the two best selling albums of the 21st century in the UK, and both managed to enjoy record breaking success abroad, smashing records set by the likes of The Beatles and Madonna.

Both are also soul singers, rose to fame with their second albums “Back to Black” and “21”, both often sing about heartache and breakups, and both even have similar looks too. Dark eyeliner, dark clothes and a large beehive.

Naturally all of these similarities have caused quite a few comparisons to pop up over the years.

It could be argued that Adele vs Amy is the new Stones vs The Beatles. Two British music phenomenons, with one a bit more clean cut than the other one.

In real life Adele and Amy were actually very good friends. I don’t know much about their friendship as very little has been written about it. Neither Amy nor Adele were exactly the type to give interviews.

Still Adele did appear to have been very close to Amy at one point, as there is a video online of Adele attending Amy Winehouse’s 25th birthday party way back in 2008

This party was only attended by family members and very close friends including both Mark Ronson and Dionne Bromfield, so the fact that Adele was among those in attendance shows she and Amy must have been very close.

According to George Michael, Adele’s relationship with Amy was so close that she refused to sing at an Amy Winehouse tribute concert he had planned because it was too emotional for her.

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=10&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CEQQFjAJ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmetro.co.uk%2F2012%2F07%2F19%2Fadele-scrapped-amy-winehouse-tribute-as-she-was-too-emotional-502427%2F&ei=Y2ANVce1KYX8UOPIgIgL&usg=AFQjCNFTzZpdUchQe73btMkKzxIgrpIFpw&sig2=h_Vzvu2HwG8lhNAF9DiX2w&bvm=bv.88528373,d.ZGU

Adele would pay a number of tributes to her friend nonetheless on her own.

Not many people have them in it to do something that they love simply because they love it, with no fuss, no compromise, but she knew what she was capable of and didn’t even need to try. If she wanted to do something she would, if she didn’t she’d say fuck off. It came easy to her and that’s why we all loved her so much. We believed every word she wrote and it would sink in deep when she sang them. Amy paved the way for artists like me and made people excited about British music again whilst being fearlessly hilarious and blaze about the whole thing. I don’t she ever realized how brilliant she was and how important she is, but that just makes her more charming. Although I’m incredibly sad over her passing I’m also reminded of immensely proud of her I am as well, and grateful to be inspired by her. Amy flies in Paradise xx.”

Adele’s tribute to Amy Winehouse which she posted on her blog. The title of this tribute “Amy flies in paradise” was a reference to a line from “October Song” on Amy’s debut album. This song was written about Amy’s pet canary who had passed away called Ava. The line was “Ava flies in paradise”.

As you can see Adele and Amy clearly had a very special friendship and its obvious that Adele had a great love for Amy with “Amy flies in Paradise” being one of the most beautiful, touching and moving tributes I have ever seen

The stories of them being class mates are complete fabrication however. The two did attend the Brits School, but Amy was several years older than Adele and apparently the two did not even meet at school. It was only years later after they had both become established singer songwriters that they became close.

Also the stories of Amy Winehouse being resentful of Adele’s success are complete lies. They came from an interview with Mark Ronson who knew both of them and were according to Ronson made up by the interviewer desperate to try and spice things up a bit.

Here was Ronsons angry retraction of the interview

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=14&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CGIQFjAN&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.eonline.com%2Fnews%2F317346%2Fmark-ronson-denies-saying-amy-winehouse-was-freaked-out-by-adele-s-success&ei=smcNVfSSA9LB7AbN4IGoDg&usg=AFQjCNGAyn4zE0lZ0-3e-MhqyKX2ZlBCwQ&sig2=rQg_3exELpeWrUeSOvgxgA&bvm=bv.88528373,d.ZGU

Thus it appears that there was no rivalry at all between Amy and Adele. .

Sadly despite their strong friendship the two never recorded a song together. They did once share the stage together, but sadly they did not perform a duet.

It was at the 2008 Brit Awards where they both performed with Mark Ronson.

However whilst Amy and Adele may have been anything but rivals, a rivalry still exists between their fans to some extent, and some of the comparisons between them have been used to belittle the other one from time to time.

Depending on what you read, Adele is either a low rent Amy Winehouse who is only successful because Amy died, or Amy Winehouse was an old has been who was eclipsed by Adele.

Its a shame when people have to do down one artist in favor of another, though I must confess I am not above doing that myself.

I think a lot of Amy fans can get a bit annoyed when they see Adele get credit for things that Amy did first. For instance people give Adele credit for not using her looks to sell music whilst Amy never did either. Many of the things you see people go on about Adele being so fabulous for doing, like starring in a video where she doesn’t do any dancing around, its just her singing etc, Amy was doing 5 years earlier.

See for yourself

People praise Adele for doing a video in black and white, Amy did that years before.

People praise Adele for doing a video that’s just her sitting in a chair. Amy did that years before.

People praise Adele for doing a stripped down performance of a song at the Brits without any flashy effects or dancers that’s from the heart. Amy did that 3 years earlier!

I must admit even though I am an Adele fan (I have both of her albums) I always got a little bit annoyed at this. As an Amy fan I remember when people used to make vile remarks about Amy’s looks. I’d see them everywhere in the papers, comedians on the television, people on blogs, and magazine’s would always vote her the ugliest woman of the year. It was absolutely vile and the general public lapped it up.

Flash forward a few years and so many people are patting themselves on the back for buying Adele’s album 21, as apparentl that proves that they don’t care about a female singers looks? I’d see so many articles about how Adele will stop people caring about women’s looks which just made me bitter.

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=8&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CD8QFjAH&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.christianpost.com%2Fnews%2Fadele-could-change-sexualized-music-industry-label-boss-50679%2F&ei=f3ENVY_BKqi07Qapn4CAAw&usg=AFQjCNE-JWLpNC3FAYGOKOhaE6I2tIat8A&sig2=xCLZFqidMMfPiX1vK8-G3A&bvm=bv.88528373,d.ZGU

Yeah great except what about the woman who came a few years earlier who was a massive success all over the world, broke records and not only didn’t use her looks but had to endure far worse hardship for her appearance than virtually anyone!

What about her!

Of course none of this is Adele’s fault. Indeed far from it Adele has given Amy Winehouse credit for paving the way for her that and other ways since the very beginning of her career. Here is an interview with Adele right at the beginning of her career long before 21 was released where she credits her success to Amy.

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20263024,00.html

So obviously its not Adele’s fault, but you can understand how it might be a bit annoying for Amy fans to have to listen to countless remarks about how she is physically repulsive, and then see people pat themselves on the backs for not caring about a woman’s looks, simply because they bought 21!

At the same time from an Adele fans perspective in all fairness, it could get a little annoying to see people constantly mention how if it weren’t for Amy, then Adele wouldn’t be as successful as she is.

There is no denying that Amy Winehouse paved the way for Adele and was an influence on her. Adele has said it many times.

However ultimately its still a bit much to act as though Adele’s success is entirely down to Amy. Yes Amy inspired her, but Adele’s accomplishments are ultimately her own. Are we going to constantly mention Frank Sinatra every time we want to take about Amy. He was her biggest influence. She even named her debut album after him “Frank”.

I think that when it comes to female singers who didn’t use their looks to sell music in the modern age, it should always be Amy that is mentioned as she was the one who endured the most abuse for it. However when it comes to Adele’s other fabulous accomplishments, I think it can be very demeaning to Adele to mention Amy Winehouse all the time as though these are only happening because of her, rather than because of Adele’s own remarkable talents.

Again it would be wrong to blame Amy for this as Amy certainly never acted as though she had paved the way for every female performer who came after. In fact according to her friend Lily Allen, Amy would always laugh whenever people compared a new female performer to her, just because they were a woman.

If I were to say who I feel is the better of the two singers then obviously it would be Amy. I have only recently gotten into Adele, and though I very much like what I heard, I am too big an Amy fan to really have anybody replace her.

Not that Adele needs to of course I can still be a huge fan of both as many people are.

If I were to look at them objectively then I’d say that Adele is much better at power ballads than Amy is. Both as a singer and as a songwriter, Adele is just better suited to big power ballads like “Rolling in the Deep”. She’s probably the best torch singer of the past 20 years in my opinion.

Amy meanwhile I think has a much wider range than Adele. Amy really could cover far more emotions in her voice than Adele. She could make us laugh with songs like “Cherry” and cry with haunting songs like “Wake Up Alone”.

Adele meanwhile, I feel her voice is too big and too emotional for a light breezy song like “Cherry” “Amy, Amy, Amy” or even “Valerie. Amy on the other hand, I think whilst also having a large, powerful voice could bring hers down a bit and make it more quiet and understated. She was ultimately far more versatile a singer than Adele.

Also it goes without saying that Amy Winehouse’s lyrics and voice were a lot darker, and grittier.

You’d never get a song like “You Know I’m No Good” or even “Tears Dry on Their Own” on “21”. Ironically “Tears Dry on Their Own” could be seen as the opposite to many of Adele’s breakup songs as it is about the person having the affair.

In some ways Amy is better and in some Adele is better. It all depends on taste really. I much prefer the more quite understated emotion of say “Love is Losing Game”, but I can understand someone having a preference for the raw power of say “Turning Tables”.

You can see the differences between their voices there. Adele’s is smoother and louder, Amy’s is meanwhile quieter, more understated yet with a bit more grit in it.

Trying to say whose voice is stronger is like trying to say who is better between Aretha Franklin and Billie Holiday. On the one hand Billie’s voice like Amy’s had more of an edge to it, but on the other Aretha’s was better for big power ballads such as “Think” much like Adele.

Really its all just a matter of taste, but I think those comparisons are valid. To an extent Amy could be seen as the modern day Billie Holiday and Adele as the modern Aretha.

Another key difference in Amy and Adele’s music is that Amy I think does have a more vintage, old fashioned feel to her than Adele. Adele definitely sounds more modern. Adele herself even commented on this stating that she feels that she is more contemporary than Amy.

As for both ladies place in popular culture.

Well I’d say that Amy is by far and away the more iconic of the two of them. In all fairness its not just because of her music, but everything really. Her appearance is far more distinctive. You’d instantly recognize a cartoon of Amy. or an impression of her of someone dressed up as her for Halloween.

With Adele however what could you do as a caricature of her?  Ironically if you were to try and parody Adele and gave someone a beehive and a cockney accent they’d probably think it was Amy instead!

Also Amy’s tragic life has naturally made her enter into popular culture more too. Its morbid but I think people tend to have a fascination with artists who have a more tragic life. Its a cliche, but its true people often tend to see artists as sad, misunderstood figures.

Amy’s tragic and untimely death has also made her more iconic too. I am not saying for one second that Amy is only remembered or is only celebrated because she died young.

People always go too far with that and its annoying. Prior to her death Amy sold millions and millions of albums. Like I said she broke records set by the Beatles, she won countless awards (5 grammy’s in a single night then more than any other artist had ever won) and the likes of Adele and Lady Gaga the two biggest artists on the planet (apart from Amy herself) during her lifetime both regularly cited her as their main influence.

However obviously it cannot be denied that when any artist dies then they are put on a pedestal to some extent. Again its morbid but the media loves nothing more than a dead hero, particularly a dead young hero like Amy.

Also Amy Winehouse it must be said has been far more influential than Adele. Amy WInehouse paved the way for not only Adele herself, but also for the likes of Lady Gaga, Jessie J etc. Just about every female performer has cited Amy as an influence in some way. Even plenty of male performers too such as Bruno Mars and Sam Smith.

Even though she only passed away less than 5 years ago, Amy already feels like one of the greats that’s always been there.

Adele meanwhile whilst not as iconic as Amy I think is more accessible to people than Amy is. Its no doubt due to her clean cut image. Amy Winehouse I think was probably too unconventional for a lot of people with her attitude where as Adele feels a lot more acceptable unconventional.

Due to her accessibility I think you are far more likely to hear Adele songs on the radio or on the tv than Amy songs. People are not going be willing to play “Fuck me Pumps” by Amy Winehouse for instance on a tv show during the day!

I think its fair to say your average person would probably know more songs by Adele than Amy. Your average person whose not a fan would definitely know songs by both, but I think there are far more Adele songs that are better known than Amy songs.

Adele’s more clean cut image I think also allows her to be seen as a positive role model to young girls too which has obviously only further helped with her popularity. Adele is seen by many as inspirational due to not conforming to the stereotypical image of a female popstar.

As you can see both ladies have firmly entered into popular culture in different ways. Both have their similarities sure, but there a number of key differences between their voices and styles.

Ultimately both have made their mark on the music industry and I am no doubt whatsoever that their music will stand the test of time.

Fans can debate forever about who is the superior one, but ultimately I think that in 50 years people will still be crying to tracks from 21 and Back to Black.

The only thing to say really about the relationship between Amy Winehouse and Adele is that its a shame considering their strong friendship that the two never got a chance to record together.

I think their voices would have worked well together because their voices were so different. Sadly however that can never happen, but fans of both singers can at least take solace in the fact that the two not only had a great respect for each other as artists, but had a great love for one another as people too.

Amy Winehouse and Paloma Faith

Amy Winehouse and Paloma Faith are two of the most popular artists the UK has produced in the last 30 years.

Both are soul singers whose work has a more vintage 60’s, retro sound, yet at the same times also has a real modern feel to it as well.

They both draw on similar influences such as Dinah Washington, Aretha Franklin and Etta James in particular.

Finally both also dress in somewhat over the top clothes, and have a more eccentric, striking overall look than your average pop princess.

Not surprisingly as a result of all of this many people have compared Paloma Faith to Amy Winehouse from practically the beginning of Paloma’s career to the present.

Here’s an article taken from round about the time Paloma’s first album was released way back in 2009

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=15&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CGcQFjAO&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ew.com%2Farticle%2F2009%2F10%2F23%2Fpaloma-faith-new-york&ei=jJcMVfqRD-HW7AaWqIAg&usg=AFQjCNHiA8NBsOuqtGO0SxQ8icWok4sk0Q&sig2=dQXeOUausSQi0NXuXhWOWA&bvm=bv.89060397,d.ZGU

Here’s one from just a few weeks ago.

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CC4QFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theguardian.com%2Fmusic%2F2015%2Fmar%2F13%2Fpaloma-faith-review&ei=xJcMVePBKqWG7QauiICIAw&usg=AFQjCNHKRp0tnN2H9KCkdHbRxqBnWbsbqg&sig2=RrwpyYexybYByB5dTOCbFQ&bvm=bv.89060397,d.ZGU

However are these comparisons really valid? Why are these two artists always mentioned together and what did they think of one another?

Well that is what I am going to explore in this article.

Paloma Faith has often spoken highly of Amy Winehouse.

In a 2012 interview when Paloma first starting getting attention in America she was quick to remind the interviewer that it was Amy Winehouse, not Adele who had paved the way for British singers in America in the late 00’s, early 2010’s.

Paloma was also among those who paid tribute to Amy after her tragic passing in 2011.

“When she opened her mouth to sing it was like the heavens opened, the voice of a bygone era, and in it was contained all the sadness and heartache of all the world, and that was what sounded so beautiful. She was so tragically beautiful.

Such a great loss for her family, her friends and her listeners.

I think its important that people don’t romanticize what happened to her, it is a warning to all of us. The truth is Amy would have been better off alive, not forever young like so many of the greats.

She paved the way for me and others like me and her legacy will live on, timeless and infinite all at the same time. I am so moved and so grateful for what she contributed to our generation of music and only sad she wont be around to do more.

Rest in peace.

Paloma Faith’s tribute to Amy Winehouse in 2011 after her death.

Paloma has also supported the Amy WInehouse Foundation that her father founded not long after her death. She even attended the annual Amy Winehouse Foundation ball in 2012.

Paloma at the Amy Winehouse foundation ball in 2012.

However surprisingly despite this, Paloma and Amy had no relationship whatsoever. Indeed the two only met once according to Paloma.

Paloma has claimed that they met many years ago before she became famous and before the release of “Back to Black”. Amy actually asked Paloma to join her band, but Paloma turned her down. Though there appear to be contradictory accounts online about their meeting. According to some Paloma turned down the offer to join Amy’s band as she wanted to pursue her own solo career, whilst others have stated that Amy turned her down because Paloma could not play an instrument.

I am not sure which story is true. I’ve seen both written many times. Paloma discusses the one time she met Amy here, but she doesn’t really elaborate on it. She simply describes Amy as charismatic and “not someone you’d forget.”

Interestingly enough Paloma appears to have had a strong friendship with Amy’s god daughter Dionne Bromfield.

Both were also very good friends with Adele, but ultimately the two did not know each other, though they still nevertheless thought greatly of one another’s talents.

With this in mind its a little odd that these two are still practically always mentioned together? Paloma also didn’t really emerge until after Amy’s career had come to a finish. Paloma only released one album before Amy’s tragic death and it was in 2009. Sadly Amy due to her problems never released a full album after her masterpiece, “Back to Black”. Amy and Paloma were never even really contemporaries.

I think the reason that people tend to draw comparisons between Amy and Paloma more than between Paloma and other popular soul singers like say Adele or Emeli Sande, is because both Amy and Paloma tend to evoke a more old fashioned sound.

There are so many Amy and Paloma songs that really do sound like they could be from the 50’s or 60’s.

As I have mentioned before “Love is a Losing Game” is the type of song that you could imagine Nat King Cole or Etta James singing and they would have been able to do really good versions of it too.

Similarly “New York” by Paloma Faith is the type of song that you could easily imagine Dinah Washington or Billie Holiday singing.

At the same time Amy Winehouse and Paloma Faith have tried their hand at some of the classics like “No Greater Love” and have definitely done them justice.

I don’t think you really get that same feeling from many other artists. With Adele for instance you’d always think her songs were modern. That’s not to say she is a worse singer or songwriter, just that she doesn’t evoke quite the same old sound that Amy and Paloma do.

Even in their appearances, Amy and Paloma reflect much earlier eras, with Amy’s look in particular evoking that of 60’s girl groups such as “The Ronnettes”.

As Paloma said of Amy her voice truly was from a bygone era, but ironically so is Paloma’s. Though again this is not to say that their songs can’t have a modern feel to them to, but that’s the point they both manage to mix a lot of old and modern styles together to create something new.

I also think that Paloma and Amy have perhaps a wider range than many of their contemporaries too. Both can sing songs with an unbelievable emotional content, but both can apply their voices to lighter, more upbeat tracks too such as “Amy, Amy, Amy” and “Upside Down”.

Again many other singers can only cope with one type of song. Like Adele for instance I don’t think can really apply her voices to lighter songs. Her voice is just too big and heavy for a jolly little track like “Upside Down”. On the flipside meanwhile there are obviously very few singers who would have the depth to cope with a song like “Love is a Losing Game”.

However at the same time whilst there are similarities in Amy and Paloma’s sound there are some key differences and its important to acknowledge that. I think that for a long while the comparisons to Amy actually hurt Paloma’s reputation.

All a lot of people ever saw her as was just a carbon copy of Amy Winehouse which is completely unfair.

Whilst it’s obviously a great honor to be compared to an artist of Amy’s caliber, understandably Paloma would want to be seen as an artist in her own right.

I’d say that Amy’s work has a greater emotional content than Paloma’s.

Whilst Paloma may sing powerful, relatable songs like “Black and Blue”, Amy’s work covers subjects like men and women having affairs, depression, self harming, alcoholism and drug addiction.

These lyrics coupled with Amy’s somewhat deeper, more rasping, smokey voice I think often help Amy’s songs pack more of a punch than Paloma’s.

Compare the two below and you will see that Amy definitely has more of an edge to her.

I think Amy’s lyrics are edgier simply because she lived that kind of a life. After all she did have experiences with addiction to both alcohol and illegal drugs, self harming, she had affairs, she suffered from depression. T

At the same time however I think its worth noting that Paloma’s work is far more imaginative than Amy’s.

Paloma’s lyrics tend to reflect her more extreme, over the top, fabulous imagination. They tend to conjour up very vivid and fantastical imagery, like something you’d expect to see in a fairy tale.

I think its Paloma’s gigantic imagination that really helps her stand out not just from Amy but from all of her contemporaries.

Thus whilst Amy’s lyrics may be darker and grittier, Paloma’s are definitely more surreal and offbeat and whimsical.

If you were to ask me who I prefer overall then I’d have to say Amy.

Amy Winehouse’s music ultimately is more special to me, and I think it had a bigger impact on me as a person, but Paloma is still one of my all time favorite artists.

Whilst Paloma may have suffered from the Amy comparisons at first, ultimately she has proven to be a very successful artist in her own right.

Each one of her albums has been more successful than the previous and now having recently scooped up a Brit Award, it seems Paloma’s going to be around for a long time yet.

Though there will always probably be comparisons between Paloma and Amy, I think they have reached the stage where they can be taken as compliments.

Certainly no one can say that Paloma a carbon copy of Amy now. I think the comparisons will always endure simply because of the two artists more old 60’s sound, wide range and also their eccentric personalities. However like I said I think that the comparisons will be more complimentary from now on rather than just being used to dismiss Paloma as an inferior copy of someone else. Paloma has certainly proven to be a unique and interesting singer songwriter in her own right.

Top 10 British Female Singers of the 21st Century

,

in my opinion at least.

Now I am aware that it can get annoying when people group so many different female artists together simply because they are women. As Adele herself has said, female singer is not a genre, and neither for that matter is British singer.

However having said that I think it is important to acknowledge how successful both female and British singers are nowadays. We are currently in the middle of what is being called a “Third British Invasion”,  and though there are many boybands that are enjoying international success such as One Direction. I think its fair to say that the most successful and influential British artists of the past 20 years have been female such as Adele, Susan Boyle and the late great Amy Winehouse, who is often credited with kick starting the third British invasion, (much like how the Beatles kick started the first British invasion back in the 1960s.)

In many ways we are living in a golden age of British female singers, and so I have decided to compile a list of my ten favourite contemporary British female artists. All opinions are of course my own and as always tell me what you think in the comments below.

10/ Dionne Bromfield

Not many people have a lot of time for Dionne Bromfield. Sadly she is often dismissed as having only been signed due to being the god daughter of the late soul singer, Amy Winehouse. However whilst it is true that she obviously did have an advantage through Amy, do not think that means she is not talented. Her two albums “Introducing Dionne Bromfield” and “Good for the soul” are both excellent, and she has demonstrated a remarkable talent as both a singer and a songwriter. One of her latest efforts “Black Butterfly” (scheduled for release on her next album) is a truly moving and beautiful tribute to her late god mother.

Sadly whilst Dionne does have a loyal following whom she has christened her “Dionettes”, none of her albums have been successful. I think her age has been her biggest problem, even more so than the claims of nepotism. Dionne’s music is different to that of your typical teenage pop stars like Justin Bieber, Willow Smith and Cher Lloyd. Its less mainstream, more old fashioned. Not many teenagers are going to be interested in hearing covers of Aretha Franklin sadly .

However at the same time the older crowd probably are not going to take her seriously either, as the idea of a thirteen year old soul singer does sound a bit daft at first, even though Dionne has as strong a voice as any one. Dionne is more talented than Cher Lloyd, Justin Bieber, The Wanted and Willow Smith combined as far as I’m concerned. She just hasn’t found the right audience yet. Hopefully as she gets older this wont be a problem.  Dionne Bromfield definitely deserves more recognition. She is a very special talent and its not hard to see why Amy thought so much of her.

Best songs

9/ Duffy

Sadly as of the writing of this article Duffy appears to have vanished off the radar. Her second album “Endlessley” was a critical and commercial flop. Still her first album “Rockferry” is definitely a modern day classic. There’s not a bad track on the album and the best tunes are instantly recognizable like “Mercy”, “Rockferry” and “Warwick Avenue”. Whilst the sexy, upbeat “Mercy” is definitely Duffy’s most famous song. I find her more sombre efforts to be the most effective. I think there is a real genuine sorrow in Duffy’s voice that is greater than many of her contemporaries, as she has had a somewhat more difficult life.

I think Duffy from the beginning suffered from comparisons to others particularly Amy Winehouse. To be fair every female singer of the past almost ten years has been compared to Amy Winehouse, but I think it hurt Duffy more than say Adele or Paloma Faith, as Duffy seemingly was unable to escape from under Amy’s shadow. Hopefully she’ll stage a comeback soon. Even though her second album was a failure she is still very young. She just needs more songs like “Warwick Avenue” and less like “Well, Well, Well”.

Best Songs

8/ V V Brown

V V Brown is a very overlooked artist in my opinion. Both of her albums have been very different from one another, and very fresh and original overall. She has her own unique style and her lyrics are both very imaginative and fun. I just can’t figure out why she hasn’t made it really big yet. She has everything going for her. She has a wonderful voice, is a brilliant live performer, and she writes her own material too. Whatever the future holds for V.V. Brown however she has at the very least developed a very strong and loyal following.

Best Songs

7/ Emeli Sande

Scottish singer Emeli Sande has proven to be one of the most successful British artists of recent times. Just as famous for her songwriting as her singing. Sande begun her career penning hits for other artists before launching a career of her own. Though her talents as a songwriter are undeniable, what really scores her so highly on my list is her talent as a live performer. Her performance at the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony in particular was remarkable and stole the entire show for me.

Best Songs

6/ Lily Allen

Lily Allen doesn’t seem to be too popular these days. I think she was always quite a polarizing figure, as she was often quite bitchy about other celebrities like Cheryl Cole (though anyone who rips on Cheryl Cole is fine by me). On top of that much like Dionne Bromfield, many people I think often assume that she has only made it because of her famous relative, her father Keith Allen. (Though ironically now I think more people would tend to think of Keith Allen as Lily’s dad.)

Still for me Lily Allen is truly one of the best artists of her generation and she is probably the most influential after Amy Winehouse. Lily’s songs may not be quite as deep and meaningful as say Adele, but one can’t help but be won over by her wicked, cheeky sense of humour.

She is able to write songs about the most unlikely things like premature ejaculation, and still make them catchy. Lily’s voice is very sweet and innocent sounding which often contrasts wonderfully with her lyrics, though she lacks the range of some of the other artists on this list.

Still whilst Lily is somewhat limited there is a lot of milleage in what she does. Personally I have enjoyed all 3 of her albums and whilst there may be something of a backlash against Lily right now, her latest album “Sheezus” still made it to the top of the charts.  I think she has a strong enough fanbase to enjoy a successful career for many more years to come.

Best Songs

5/ Adele

Related image

Okay now I must admit I am very much a latecomer to Adele’s music. Hipster that I am, I avoided her for so long because of how overhyped and overplayed she was. I must admit even today I do still find Adele to be horribly overrated.  I feel that people often give her credit for things that she doesn’t deserve. For instance everyone gives her credit for being a female performer who didn’t use her looks to sell music, but she is not the only, and certainly not the first female performer of even her generation to do that.

Amy Winehouse alone never did and she received far worse abuse for her looks than Adele ever did (not that its a competition, but its worth remembering all of these people who go nuts every time Adele’s weight is made fun of, were curiously silent whenever Amy was called much worse.)

Still despite this it cannot be denied that Adele is a very special talent. She has demonstrated an incredible maturity for someone so young in both her lyrics and voice and has written songs that so many people can relate too. Whilst she doesn’t have the widest range as a vocalist, she more than makes up for it with the power her voice has. She is probably the best torch singer of the past 30 years and has enjoyed unbelievable commercial and critical success having broken records set by Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston and even the Beatles themselves.

Best Songs

4/ Florence Welch

Image result for florence welch

Florence Welch of the band Florence and the Machine is a strikingly beautiful, alluring one in 7 billion performer. Her voice has a somewhat more operatic quality to it when compared to many of her contemporaries. He songs meanwhile tend to cover unusual topics ranging from disembowelment, to drowning, to madness, to domestic abuse, to werewolves killing people.

One of her songs “the Bird Song” is about a woman who commits a murder only for a parrot to see it, and then repeat the dying man’s screams. The women then takes the parrot inside and breaks its neck, but ends up repeating her victims screams herself everywhere she goes, eventually leading to her being caught.

It reads like an Edgar Allan Poe story. I could easily imagine Vincent Price playing the role of the murderer in the bird song. The fact that Florence sings about such unusual, disturbing subjects is what makes her stand out so much. Many have compared her to Kate Bush, and whilst its obvious that Bush is a huge influence on her, Florence’s material is ultimately far darker. Though there has been some controversy over the darker content of many of her songs with some accusing “Kiss with a Fist” of promting domestic abuse. Ultimately Florence Welch has proven herself as one of Britain’s most successful artists around the world.

Best Songs

3/ Shingai Shoniwa

Shingai Shoniwa is the lead singer of the Noisettes. Her voice is strong, but sweet at the same time much like Dina Washington. She is a very eccentric, offbeat and charismatic performer. So far the Noisettes have had an inconsistent career. Their first album was a commercial flop, but their second was a monster hit and produced a number of hit singles including the masterpiece “Don’t Upset the Rhythm” Sadly however their latest album “Contact” was another flop, which was a shame as not ony was it a great album, but it felt like the Noisettes’s career was ready to go into the stratosphere. You should definitely check out the Noisettes three albums. There is a lot of variety among them indeed you’ actually be hard pushed to find 3 more different albums.

Best Songs

I’ve always loved That Girl in particular because it has a real Beatles vibe to it. Everything about it, its lyrics, its style, even the way its sung, makes it feel like a 21st Century Beatles track.

2/ Paloma Faith

Paloma Faith narrowly misses out on being my favorite female performer of the 21st century. I could spend days and days going on about how much I love Paloma, but I’ll try and keep this short. What makes Paloma such a favourite of mine is how imaginative her work is. Her lyrics often conjor up beautiful, vivid, fantastical imagery. Her massive, eccentric imagination encompasses everything she does, particularly how she dresses. There truly is no one like Paloma and her star has only continued to rise over the past few years. With three hugely successful albums under her belt, the future looks very good for ms Faith indeed.

Best Songs

1/ Amy Winehouse

Yeah I know a fairly obvious choice considering my other article “10 reasons to admire Amy Winehouse”, but still for me Amy has to stand head and beehive above the rest. Amy is really the British female artist of the 21st century. All of the others in this list look up to her and credit her with paving the way for them.

Amy was among the first of her generation to make it big abroad, particularly in America. She also helped to revitalize soul music and the stagnated British music scene.

Though she only released two albums before her tragic and untimely death, the impact she made with those two albums was immense and the quality of those two albums is enough to propel her to the status of legend easy.

Winehouse had the greatest range of any vocalist or songwriter on this list. She could sing songs that were light hearted, fun, and sexy, like “Amy Amy Amy”, or songs that were scathing and funny like “Stronger Than Me”, or that were darker like You Know I’m No Good”. Finally she was also able sing songs that were genuinely heartbreaking and moving like Love is a Losing Game.

Forget “Rolling in the Deep”: “Love is a Losing Game” is the greatest break up song ever made for me. It sums up the awful feelings of regret you have when your heart is broken to the point where you wished you had never fallen in love in the first place.

As I have said before “Love is a Losing Game” is a song that you can imagine, had it been released in the 1960’s everyone from Nat King Cole to Billie Holiday to Frank Sinatra would have covered it, and they all would have been able to do a really good version of it too because it is just such a fantastic song lyrically.

Sadly Winehouse is no longer with us, but her legacy lives on in virtually every major British female singer from Adele, to Jessie J, to Paloma Faith and many other female singers around the world, including Lady Gaga and Lana Del Rey, who have both cited her as a huge influence. She will never be forgotten and will always be one of my all time favourite artists.

Best Songs

10 Reasons To Admire Amy Winehouse

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Amy Winehouse was one of Britain’s greatest ever singer/songwriters. Though her career was short, she nevertheless made an immeasurably huge impact on the music industry. She revitalized soul music and paved the way for female and British artists to enjoy immense success abroad for the first time in decades.

Though Amy Winehouse tragically passed away at the age of just 27 years old in 2011, her legacy still lives on through her music, her fans and the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which her father founded in 2011.

In this list I have compiled what I believe are the main 10 reasons to admire Amy Winehouse both as an artist and as a person. I am not going to deny that Amy Winehouse had her fair share of controversies and problems, but she did many incredible things with her short life too.

During her lifetime the press rarely reported anything positive about Amy Winehouse, whilst after her death the opposite was true, and she became the 21st century version of Princess Diana in their eyes. This article however will instead look at what it was Amy Winehouse actually did that was admirable and ultimately made her one of the most celebrated artists of her generation.

10/ She tried to better herself 

Contrary to what many believe, Amy Winehouse was not someone who glorified and encouraged drug abuse.

Her songs actually often showed the darker side to the Rock and Roll lifestyle more than most such as “You Know I’m No Good”.

“Rehab” far from telling people not to go to rehab because drinking and partying is fun, depicts someone who drinks because they have nothing else in their lives, no spouse, no job, no friends and has fallen into a rut. “I don’t ever want to drink again. I just need a friend.

More importantly however Amy Winehouse also did attempt to conquer her addictions as well. She actually managed to overcome her addictions to drugs and was clean from them for 3 whole years before her death. Sadly however she was never able to overcome he addiction to alcohol. Though again she did make attempts to do so, and had even been clean for several weeks before her death. It was a relapse back into alcoholism that took her life in 2011.

Many people often see Amy Winehouse as someone who didn’t care about her life and would have always have ended up with her tragic fate. I don’t. I think she was someone who yes made mistakes, but tried her best to overcome them.

Someone who had managed to overcome several addictions already and was in the process of conquering another; does not strike me as someone who no longer cared for life. I think it could have ended very differently for Amy Winehouse. Her death was an accident remember, not suicide.

I think that had she lived she would have put them behind her and would have had a very happy life, and for those who say “she should have gone to rehab” she did several times. It was a relapse that killed her.

9/ She did not conform

Adele is often the one who gets all of the credit for this. People will often go on about fabulous Adele is because she never uses her looks to sell music, doesn’t have a sexualised image, relies only on her voice and doesn’t dance around on stage. Adele is praised for not conforming to what women in music should look like and behave like. Thing is Amy Winehouse did all of this about five years before Adele.

Amy Winehouse never used her looks to sell music. She never had a sexualized image, and she never danced around in her videos and relied only on her voice.

People praised Adele for doing just a video about her sitting on a chair “Rolling in the Deep” and doing another in black and white “Someone Like You”. Again however Amy Winehouse did a video that was just her sitting down “Rehab” and another that was in black and white “Back to Black” years earlier.

Amy Winehouse was not your conventional female pop star in any way shape or form. She not only never used her looks, but she also made herself look even more unconventional. She dressed in style’s that were last popular in the 1960’s, even when her label were telling her not too.

I might add as well that when Amy Winehouse was around there were not as many female performers who relied solely on their voices. After Amy there were scores of them, Duffy, Susan Boyle, Florence Welch, Emeli Sande and of course Adele herself.

Amy Winehouse also endured far more abuse for her appearance than Adele ever did as well. I am not trying to turn it into a competition, but it did make me a bit bitter a few years later to see many of the same media outlets that savaged Amy for her appearance, fawn over and kiss up to Adele for not using her looks and conforming. Take a look at these two vids from the Young Turks to see what I mean.

The irony surely can’t be lost on Ana and Cenk.?

However even with the media against her, Winehouse not only still managed to sell more with one album than many of her more conventional female contemporaries, but her look also became arguably the most iconic of any pop star from her generation. Even more so than Adele’s.

I certainly am not saying that Amy was the first non sexualized female performer and I also don’t think there is anything wrong with sexualized female performers. It’s good to have a wide range of male and female performers, however I think it is true to say that when Amy emerged; female and male performers who relied solely on their voices rather than their flashy image were not as popular.

It was simply because that was the fad at the time. Amy however made it trendy again for more old school singers, who didn’t have to dance around in flashy videos, such as Adele and Sam Smith to enjoy mainstream success.

Sadly however the mainstream media, and people like The Young Turks (who are the most vicious when it comes to judging a woman’s looks), will never give her credit for it. Ironically Amy is simply too unconventional for them. Still at the very least artists like Adele herself have always credited Amy for helping to pave the way for them.

8/ She won the respect of many of the most prominent artists 

Throughout her career Amy Winehouse made many famous fans. Among them included The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Paul McCartney (who named her in 2008 as the person he wanted to sing the latest Bond theme), Ringo Starr (who also stood up for her when Natalie Cole criticised Winehouse for winning five Grammy’s, whilst suffering from her drug addiction claiming it was setting a bad example. Ringo said of Cole “that’s some real sour grapes”.) Debbie Harry, Alice Cooper, Ronnie Spector, George Michael (who also referred to her as the most talented songwriter he had ever seen in his entire career!) Tom Jones, Quincy Jones, Tony Bennett, Dave Grohl. Roger Dahltry (who referred to her voice as being one of the greats like Freddie Mercury and Etta James that you would instantly recognise), Brian May (who referred to her as a modern day musical legend),  Annie Lennox, Bette Midler, Beyonce, and of course many of the modern day prominent artists that she inspired such as Adele, Lady Gaga, Paloma Faith and Emeli Sande.

Now before you say that these people only praised her after her death, I can assure you that is not the case, and I will provide sources for what I am saying at the end of the article.

Amy Winehouse actually had offers to work with many of these artists. Sadly however her problems often prevented her from doing so. I will say that I think this is one area where Amy Winehouse’s problems were worse than other troubled artists, in that they actually prevented her from making more music. I think she was like Vivian Stanshall, the late front man of “The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band” in this respect.

Others like John Lennon, Jim Morrison and Alice Cooper were still able to produce great music even in some of their darkest days, but the likes of Winehouse and Stanshall were evidently completely consumed by their troubles.

Amy Winehouse had offers to work with George Michael, Debbie Harry, Stevie Wonder and Eminem all of which she had to turn down because of her addictions. Though fortunately she was able to collaborate with the Rolling Stones, Quincy Jones and most memorably Tony Bennett. Sadly she could have done so much more.

Still the fact that so many artists from so many different back grounds and generations, literally everyone from The Beatles to Beyonce were fans of her, speaks volumes about her talent.

7/ Her songs have been covered by many other artists

Sort of a continuation from the previous point. Amy Winehouse’s songs have been covered by other prominent singers. Many people have dismissed Amy Winehouse as someone who only had a great voice, but she was also let’s not forget a fabulous songwriter too and many other highly successful singers have covered her songs as a result.

George Michael, Caro Emerald, Elbow and Eddi Reader have all covered “Love is a Losing Game”, Ronnie Spector, Beyonce, Florence Welch and Brian Ferry have all covered Back to Black, whilst  Fergie, Chris Martin and Paulo Nutini covered Rehab. That’s one of the many great things about Amy Winehouse’s music is that you can often listen to about four different versions of the one song by several different prominent artists. Of course in all occasions, I would say that Amy Winehouse’s versions are the best. It’s one thing to sing a song really well, but to also be able to write one that others would be interested in singing I think takes a very special kind of talent.

6/  She was very charitable

This side of Amy Winehouse was one that we never heard about it the papers or the media, but still nevertheless Amy Winehouse was an incredibly generous and charitable person by absolutely all accounts.

In fact she was even known as a “soft touch”.  Among the charities that Winehouse donated her time, money and music too generously include the following “Adopt A Minelfield”, “Anti Slavery International”, “Breast Cancer Campaign”, “CARE (relief agency)”, “Children of the Andes”,  “Children’s Medical Research Institute”, “Christian Children’s Fund”, “City at Peace”, “Comic Relief”, “Great Ormond Street Hospital”,  “Greenpeace”, “Healthlink Worldwide”, “Hear the World”, “Heifer International”, “Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen”, “The Red Cross”,  “LIFEbeat”, “Lifeline and rape crisis PMB”, “Opportunity International”, “Oxfam, rights and humanity”, “Save the Children”, “Save the Music Foundation”, “ST Jude Children’s Research Hospital”, “Teenage Cancer Trust”, “Christina Noble Children’s Foundations”, “Little Dreams Foundation”, “Lotus Outreach”, “Nelson Mandela Childrens Fund”, “UNHCR”, “UNICEF”, “V-Day”, “Water Aid” and “World Neighbours”.

She also once paid for the life saving surgery of a man in St Lucia named Jean De Baptiste. He said “It cost a fortune and Amy paid for the whole thing. Her generosity gave me my life back”.

Her father was later inspired by her genorisity to set up the Amy Winehouse Foundation  after her passing.

5/ She supported other artists

Amy Winehouse set up her own record label in 2009 and helped to launch the careers of many young artists. Most notably her god daughter Dionne Bromfield who to date has produced two albums, with a third one planned. She also supported her backing singer Zalon as well as other singers such as Liam Bailey and Neon Hitch. Though Neon Hitch is not signed to her label, she has nevertheless credited Amy with helping her in the early years of her career.

4/ She broke America

When Amy Winehouse first conquered the American charts, there were actually very few British artists around who were popular on an international level. In fact just a few years earlier there had been the fewest amount of British artists on the Billboard charts since before the Beatles emerged! That’s not to say there where none when Amy Winehouse first conquered America. There was Coldplay, James Blunt, Dido and Joss Stone, but none of these artists really lead to a movement. They were one offs and it was still overall a very difficult time for a British artist to make it stateside.

However Winehouse managed to have record breaking success in America. Her album Back to Black marked at that point the highest ever debut from a British female solo artist on the American charts.

It also won five Grammy awards, which at that point was more than any other British artist had won in a single night. Thanks to the success of Amy Winehouse, the door became open for British artists in America, but its worth remembering that back when Amy Winehouse started it was probably the most difficult time to make it over there since the early 1960’s!

3/ She was honest

There was a real honesty to Amy that shone through all of her lyrics. She was someone who was not afraid to share anything about herself no matter how bad it may have made her look. This is most evident in songs such as “I heard love is blind” and “You Know I’m No Good”.

2/ She was very influential on other artists

Amy Winehouse could very well be the most influential British artist of the past 20 years. Among those whom she inspired and paved the way for by their own admission include Adele, Lady Gaga, Jessie J, Paloma Faith, Rebecca Ferguson, Laura Mvula, Lana Del Rey, Florence Welch, Emeli Sandi, Sam Smith, Bruno Mars, Duffy, V V Brown, Estelle, Ellie Goulding, even Tom Jones comeback album was inspired by Back to Black. Spin magazine editor Charles Aaron said that Amy Winehouse was the “Nirvana moment ”  for artists like Adele and Duffy and that “they could all be traced back to her in terms of musical attitude, styles and fashion”.  Amy Winehouse was influential in so many ways.

First of all it is true that she paved the way for British artists in America in the 21st century and kicked off what has been called “the third British invasion”. Billboard chart managed Keith Caulfield said that “because of Amy or the lack there of the market place was able to get singers like Duffy and Adele.”

Second she also paved the way for female artists to have more mainstream success as well. Both Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen are credited with kick starting what was ultimately referred to by the media as “the year of the women”  in 2009 which saw five female musicians nominated for the Mercury prize.

Solo female performers had fallen out of flavor at that point, particularly British female solo artists. Every type of singer or band goes through it’s periods of popularity. At one point boy band’s were the most popular, but then they faded. Amy, I and many others feel, led to the revival of the popularity of solo female singers around the world.

Finally she also helped to revitalise soul music and helped to reintroduce it to mainstream audiences, not only in the United Kingdom, but in America too hence why the third British invasion has also been referred to as a ” British Soul Invasion”, or “the British, Female Soul Invasion”.

1/ Her Talent

Okay this is subjective, but what the hell. Amy Winehouse as far as I’m concerned was one of the most talented singer and songwriters of all time. Its important to remember her talents as both a singer and a songwriter. As a singer she was equal to anyone of the greats. She had the emotional depth of the likes of Billie Holiday, Etta James and Nina Simone in her voice. Don’t believe me? Listen to “Love is a Losing Game” Amy’s masterpiece in my opinion.

On top of that she also had an incredible range in her voice. Many people often think of Amy Winehouse as only being capable of singing sad more downbeat songs, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Listen to Frank her first, somewhat overlooked album and there are plenty of up beat humorous songs that can actually make you laugh such as “Cherry”, “Stronger than Me”, and “Amy, Amy, Amy”. Contrast this with heart breaking ballads like “Love is a Losing Game”, “Back to Black” or “Wake Up Alone” and you can get an idea of how versatile a singer she was.

There was simply no emotion her voice could not capture. I feel she was comparable to Freddie Mercury in this respect, as he was one of the few other vocalists who could capture any emotion in his voice too. He could sing light hearted, silly fun songs like “Fat Bottomed Girls” and moving, poignant pieces like “These are the Days of Our Lives”. For this reason Amy Winehouse and Freddie Mercury have always been among my two favourite singers. Unlike Adele or Billie Holiday both of whom are obviously still excellent singers, there is an Amy Winehouse and Freddie Mercury song for ever mood. Singers like Adele I feel can only cope with the sadder songs.

It wasn’t just in terms of emotional content Amy Winehouse was versatile. Her voice could also apply to many different genres too such as Jazz, Soul, RnB and even Reggae. If you doubt her versatility just look at the many different artists she inspired. Both Adele and Lady Gaga two artists who are literally the opposite of one another have both credited Amy Winehouse with paving the way for them.

Her talents as a songwriter meanwhile were just as strong. “Love is a Losing Game” in my opinion is the type of song that you can imagine, had it been released in the 50’s or the 60’s everyone from Billie Holiday to Frank Sinatra to Nat King Cole to Dinah Washington would have sang, and they all would have been able to do a great job of it because it is such a brilliant song.

The fact that Amy Winehouse was able to write songs that many other artists have wanted to sing, and at the same time made other people’s songs her own like the Zutons “Valerie”, which the vast majority of people would think was an Amy Winehouse song, (which is even more impressive when consider that the original was a massive hit too,) shows how gifted she was as both a singer and a songwriter.

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=7&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CDkQFjAG&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbcamerica.com%2Fanglophenia%2F2008%2F06%2Fannie-lennox-stands-up-for-amy-winehouse%2F&ei=ak8HVM-RBKmP7AaLp4H4CA&usg=AFQjCNFX76wkd0Q7rrvJSju7tf7fff6ikg&bvm=bv.74115972,d.ZGU

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http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20263024,00.html

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http://www.popeater.com/2009/03/16/lady-gaga-loves-strange-girls-like-amy-winehouse/

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