The Life and Times of Amy Winehouse
The Singer in 2004
Winehouse started to write music at age 14, and thanks in part to a former boyfriend who sent a tape to an A&R man, she snagged a contract with Island/Universal and a publishing deal with EMI. Her debut album, Frank, was released in 2003; it was a startling alternative to much of the female music of the time, when the charts were dominated by the likes of Britney Spears, Dido, Norah Jones, Christina Aguilera and Avril Lavigne. The Times of London called it "earthy, warm, lived-in and astonishingly versatile." But even better was to come.