July 23 marks the one-year anniversary of the death of Amy Winehouse, who was found dead in her London home at the age of 27 after drinking a lethal amount alcohol — a sad, albeit ironic twist considering her biggest hit was a song about how she refused to go to "Rehab." Despite her massive international success, the British R&B-soul singer only released two records before her untimely death, with her second, Back to Black, being her most popular with four Top 20 singles and 11 million copies sold worldwide.
In memory of Winehouse on this day, watch five live performances of hers that particularly stand out:
"Rehab" at the 2007 SXSW Festival
Just before her first big hit became a staple on American radio, Winehouse performed the track at the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas, in March 2007. Dressed down in jeans and a black tank top, the singer killed it with just an acoustic guitarist accompanying her soulful voice. Even though she wasn't well known at the time, the crowd gathered around the tiny stage was captivated.
"Back to Black" at London's Somerset House (2007)
The true spirit of Amy Winehouse came through during her live concert at the Somerset House in London in 2007 before drug use overtook her life. The singer looked genuinely happy — despite performing a heartbreaking ballad about a boyfriend leaving her for someone else — and appeared to be sober as she shimmied across the stage. Before beginning the song, she told the sold-out crowd, "This gig is something I've been looking forward to for I can't tell you how long." And it was clear from the performance she gave on that memorable night.
"You Know I'm No Good" at the 2008 Grammys
It was a performance that almost didn't happen. When Cuba Gooding Jr. introduced Winehouse, he revealed that Grammy producers were unsure if she'd even show for the gig. But she did — and she turned in a spirited rendition of her second Back to Black single "You Know I'm No Good" (with a mid-song shout-out to her husband Blake Civil-Fielder, who was in prison at the time). Moments later, a stunned Winehouse was awarded the honor of Record of the Year for "Rehab," one of the five awards she won that evening.
"Valerie" on The DL (2007)
As Winehouse made a name for herself, she gained even more notoriety when she lent her vocals to her producer Mark Ronson for a cover of "Valerie" on his Version album. Although the recorded track is a fun doo-wop throwback to the '60s, a messy-haired Winehouse proved it could also function as an acoustic silencer when she performed it for The DL in 2007.
"Tears Dry on Their Own" on "Other Voices" (2006)
Two months after she released her breakout Back to Black album in the UK, Winehouse showcased stripped-down versions of the material, including what would become its fourth single, "Tears Dry on Their Own," on Ireland's "Other Voices" in 2006. Although the recorded version is a lively heartbreaker, thanks to a sample of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," this version was simple with just a guitarist, bassist, and Winehouse's haunting vocals.
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