8 Aspects Of Amy Winehouse's Legacy More Important Than Her Addiction

by Elena Cleaves

Addiction is a disease. Far too often, we forget that it can happen to anyone.

When R&B /soul starlet Amy Winehouse began rocketing to fame, she was berated as a dirty and promiscuous “crackhead,” “junkie” and "drunk."

They were, no doubt, harmful terms that followed her past her demise.

When addicts die, shocking numbers of people claim their lives should not be grieved, believing an addict’s death (whether by overdose or not) is an inevitability he or she brought upon him or herself.

The addicts are made to be the butt of jokes, their lives undervalued and seen as nothing but a goldmine of comedic material.

An addict's life is belittled to nothing more than a mix of booze and syringes and cast away without honoring the good he or she did.

Amy Winehouse has been made a joke for years, made into memes making cheap shots at her dismissal of rehab with, "No, no, no."

Winehouse joined the unfortunate 27 Club, but she left behind a legacy of raw talent, soul and passion.

Her perfectionist ways ensured she truly believed in what she was putting out to the public.

She always made sure her music was true to herself.

In honor of the upcoming release of the documentary, "Amy," here are eight factors of Amy Winehouse's legacy more noteworthy than her substance abuse:

1. Her incredible lyrics

In 2008, Amy Winehouse became the first artist at the Ivor Novello Awards to receive two nominations for Best Song, both musically and lyrically.

She was nominated for “You Know I’m No Good” and won with “Love Is a Losing Game.”

2. Her smooth, soulful voice

No one can argue Amy Winehouse didn’t have the talent to be a star. Her voice slides like butter around her lyrics, making her an R&B/soul legend.

3. Her winged eyeliner

Every girl knows how impossible it is to get a perfect wing, at least before the days of the tape method.

Amy nailed it. Every. Single. Time.

4. Her beehive

While girls everywhere struggled to figure out how to keep a Bumpit in place, Amy took to a can of hairspray, a weave and a comb and blew us all out of the water.

5. That time she tied a record

Her album, Back To Black, produced five Grammy wins, tying the record for the most wins by a female artist in a single night and the first British woman to win five Grammys.

6. Her legendary girlfriends

Ellie Goulding, Adele and Lana del Rey all credit Amy Winehouse to making their rise to the top easier, due to her unconventional style and ability to reach American audiences with a British voice.

7. The Amy Winehouse Foundation

After her alcoholism-related death, Amy’s family set up the Amy Winehouse Foundation.

The charity works to help prevent alcohol and drug abuse, and aims to support disadvantaged youth to reach their potential.

8. That time she broke a record

On July 24, 2011, the day after her death, Amy broke the Guinness World Record for the most number of simultaneous hit songs to enter the UK singles chart by a female artist.

Amy Winehouse may have had her personal addictions, but the trail she blazed for female artists — especially in the R&B, jazz, soul and even reggae genres — made her a legend in the music industry.

She embodied decades of genres, styles and fashions, yet retained a unique image with a striking personality.

The mistakes she made opened up an important discussion about substance abuse, the downside of fame and mental illness.

Her family has used her death as an example to youth of how dangerous drugs, alcohol and fame can be, as well as to prove anyone is capable of success.

Watch the first trailer for "Amy" here.