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Featured Story

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Amy Winehouse
by Kirsten Cross
Amy Winehouse’s brief but eventful life ended on 23rd July 2011, at the age of 27. It is always tragic when one so young has their life cut short, but when it is someone as creative and influential as Amy, the death resonates much further than immediate family and friends. As with Hendrix, Morrison, Joplin and Cobain, whose lives also ended abruptly at 27, in her brief time on earth she inspired many and created a critically acclaimed body of musical works. Yet, like many musicians and creative individuals before her, her own life entered a downward spiral of self-destruction.

But what can the stars tell us about her, the way she lived her life, and her downfall?

Amy Jade Winehouse was born in north London on the 14th September 1983. In the western zodiac she was a Virgo, while according to Chinese astrology she was born in the year of the Boar, or to be precise, the Water Boar.

Belief and determination

Water boars are renowned for their self-belief and determination, and it is perhaps this aspect of her personality that saw Amy develop an immensely successful singing career. At the age of nine she began attending theatre school and started writing her own music by the time she was 14. After singing with a number of local bands, she had signed up with professional management by the time she was just 19, and released her debut album a year later, the 2003 Mercury music prize nominated Frank. Her determination and belief in her music would later see her perform around the world and win international acclaim.

Water Boars are also often influential, and for Amy this was clearly the case. Many music critics have credited her success and unconventional style with opening up the doors to a host of other female artists on both sides of the Atlantic, such as chart-toppers Adele and Lady Gaga. Her second album, Back to Black, earned her five Grammy awards, the most ever won by a British female artist. Some commentators have asserted that she also played a crucial role in the renewed popularity of jazz and soul music in the first decade of the 21st Century.

A vulnerable and unpredictable side

But those born in the year of the Boar are also known for their fiery tempers and some less attractive characteristics, and the results of Amy’s short temper are all too well known. A number of times she got into trouble with the police for violent outbursts, and her tempestuous relationship with husband Blake Fielder-Civil was the subject of much attention in the press.

The Virgo side of her personality may have been prone to worry, nervousness and perfectionism. These aspects, combined with the constant pressure and intrusion from the media, may have led her further along a destructive path in an attempt to block out worries with alcohol and drugs.

Virgo’s often disguise their inherent vulnerability by attempting to refocus the attention of others onto what it is that they are doing instead of the deeper nuances of their personality. Her musical performances and her often controversial off-stage behaviour may have been part of this ruse, whether consciously or subconsciously. It may have been that underneath the bravado and shock-tactic behaviour, Amy was deeply insecure about what others really thought of her – another typically Virgo trait.

But Virgo’s are perhaps best known for their boundless energy and enthusiasm towards practical projects. It is undoubtedly this side of her personality that led her to create music that is enjoyed by millions, and inspired a generation of aspiring female musicians. Had her life not been cut tragically short, and if she had managed to balance out the more negative aspects of her persona, she would surely have continued to cultivate her art further.


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