Amy Winehouse's dad details cycle of addiction
NEW YORK—Amy Winehouse's father says he has a hard time enjoying her breakthrough "Back to Black" album because the songs are about her ex-husband.
Mitch Winehouse blames Blake Fielder-Civil for leading her into drug abuse, and he details her long decline in a new memoir, "Amy, My Daughter." His views on the British singer's ex-husband have been stated before and are well known.
Amy Winehouse, whose "Back to Black" disc sold more than 20 million copies worldwide and won a Grammy Award for album of the year in 2008, died of accidental alcohol poisoning in July. The British singer was 27.
Mitch Winehouse, a former taxi driver and aspiring singer, writes in the memoir that it recently occurred to him that one of the biggest-selling albums of the 21st century is all about Fielder-Civil, whom he disparages. He prefers his daughter's jazzy first album, "Frank," which wasn't released outside England until after her later success.
His memoir is scheduled to come out June 26. The Associated Press bought a copy on Monday.
Winehouse recalls his daughter as a girl writing into a notebook phrases that later turned up in songs and his pride as her singing talent became evident. But most of the book is about a seemingly endless cycle of attempted recoveries and relapses as she battled drugs and alcohol.
Winehouse also says that his daughter suffered from stage fright throughout her career. She had breast enlargement surgery more than a year before her death and considered plastic surgery on her nose.
Amy Winehouse's strong will may have helped her during her career, but it didn't help with substance abuse, her father writes.
"Long before Amy was an addict, no one could tell her what to do," he writes. "Once she became an addict, her stubbornness just got worse. There were times when she wanted to be clean, but the times when she didn't outnumbered them."
He writes that he could never understand why she was so in love with Fielder-Civil, a music industry hanger-on. The book details his numerous run-ins with Fielder-Civil and his family.
"It wasn't as if he brought much good into her life, or so it seemed to me," he writes.
Amy Winehouse married Fielder-Civil in 2007. They divorced in 2009.
Some friends believed that Winehouse grew to dislike singing the songs on "Back to Black" because they reminded her of her ex-husband and that was one reason she drank so much before she performed. Tape of a drunken Winehouse stumbling through a set months before she died became a great embarrassment to her after it spread widely on the Internet.
Alcohol was trouble because it was freely available and she could drink wherever she liked, mostly without public criticism, writes her father, who worried "her illness might end up killing us both."