Amy Winehouse died 12 years ago. Her family just released her journals.

Amy Winehouse would have turned 40 this year.

The pop culture icon was most known for her deep soulful voice, oversized beehive, and winged eyeliner, along with her transcendent songs 'Rehab' and 'Back to Black'. 

Winehouse was only 27 years old when she died in July 2011 after a long (and far too public) battle with alcohol and drug addiction. 

In a new book titled Amy Winehouse: In Her Words, the singer's parents share the six-time Grammy winner's handwritten lyrics, poems, family portraits and journal entries.

The book is available on August 29 and begins when Winehouse was just a child in North London and ends around the time of Winehouse’s masterful second album, Back to Black.

"Good words to describe me: loud, bold, melodramatic," Winehouse lists in one entry. 

In another, she admitted she struggled to fit in at school. "I quickly get into the wrong crowd," she said in regards to the prestigious Sylvia Young Theatre School in London.  

"Is it worth being bullied for friends?" Winehouse pondered.

As the singer got older, the topics of her entries described changed. "Only smoking after meals. No fucking carbs, b*tch!" she scribed. 

Winehouse struggled with bulimia from her mid-teens until her death. 

"We always wanted the world to know the real Amy, where she came from and what made her tick," her father Mitch told People. 

"In all aspects she was just a normal Jewish kid from North London, who did normal kid things, went to drama class, loved her grandma, her mum and dad, loved her brother."


Winehouse's parents Mitch and Janis released some excerpts from the book’s foreword, ahead of its release later this month. 

The parents spoke about her immense love of music and natural talent from an early age. 

"Many artists talk about waiting for the perfect song to drop into their lap from the heavens. For them, writing is a labour of love, but for Amy, songs seemed to fall easily. 

"Every now and then it was as if a lightbulb went on in her head. She’d disappear to a quiet place for a while and put together a few chords. A song would emerge, then a whole album. 'How do you do it? Do you write the melodies or the lyrics first?' Mitch asked her one day. 'Oh, come on, Dad! Everyone can do it!' she laughed. 

"Except everyone couldn’t. That was Amy — she had very little understanding of just how brilliant she was. Famously in one interview, she said of Janis: "I thought everyone could sing, until I heard my mum."

Winehouse struggled at school, as she couldn't sit still, struggled to concentrate and often misbehaved. 

"From the outset, we realised that school was probably never going to fulfill Amy. 'I’m bored,' was a phrase she often repeated. Teachers told us she was bright and capable, yet there was always a 'but.'"

Mitch and Janis mentioned the moment that inspired their daughter's biggest hit song 'Rehab'. 


"She’d arrived at Mitch’s home with her then-managers Nick Godwyn and Nick Shymansky. Both had been concerned about her drinking and wanted to take her for professional treatment. 'I don’t want to go, Dad. I haven’t got ninety days!' she told Mitch. Several years later, that conversation got filtered through Amy’s creative lens, chopped up and rearranged to become a number one hit."

Winehouse's parents also got candid about why their daughter's sudden passing is something they're still processing. 

"What’s sad for us is that we’ll never hear the songs that Amy may have produced in the years to follow. Certainly, in the four years from Back to Black’s release until her passing, Amy was never well enough to write another complete album, nor was she able to move on with her life in the way that she may have done before," the excerpt continued.

"It’s now bittersweet for us to look back on a diary entry that Amy wrote when she was a teenager: 'Mostly I have this dream to be very famous, to work on stage. It’s a lifelong ambition. I want people to hear my voice and just forget their troubles for five minutes... 

"'I want to be remembered for being ... just me.'"

The royalties from Amy Winehouse: In Her Words will go to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, a charity her family started 12 years ago after she died of accidental alcohol poisoning. 

The charity offers recovery pathways, housing and music therapy for young people struggling with addiction. 

Feature image: Getty/Canva. 

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