Amy Winehouse captivated the world with her extraordinary vocal prowess and defiantly frank lyrics, best captured on her second and final studio album, 2006's many-times-platinum Back to Black.
Less well-known than Winehouse's knockout vocals and soulful songwriting though, are the late singer-songwriter's electric guitar chops, which can be seen in the 2004 Fender Stratocaster promo above, in which Winehouse discusses her relationship with the Strat and the guitar as a whole, and offers up a brief but breathtaking unaccompanied (but for her Strat) performance of I Heard Love Is Blind, a track from her 2003 debut album, Frank.
After first (much to his chagrin) playing her brother's Strat, Winehouse first got her own Fender in her early teens. “I just played every day," Winehouse says. "It was all I wanted to do."
Self-taught, Winehouse charted her own course on the instrument, influenced by James Taylor, Carole King, hip-hop and traditional jazz.
"It’s so easy to teach yourself if you have love for guitar," she says. "There's [always] things people can show you, but if you learn how to play the guitar off someone [else] you just kind of learn to play it like them, you know what I mean? And that’s why I can say that while I’m not even probably an adequate guitarist, I’m still a distinctive guitarist. I sound different.”
Winehouse often took the stage with a Strat early in her career, famously wowing the crowd at a 2003 taping of Later... with Jools Holland with a Strat-heavy performance of Stronger Than Me.
Her 2004 performance of Take The Box at Wembley Arena – in which she brings the massive crowd, which had gathered to celebrate the Strat's 50th birthday, to an absolute standstill with just her voice and a Strat – is also essential viewing.
"When I'm onstage and I've got a guitar," Winehouse says in the Fender promo, "I feel like no-one can touch me."