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Her first album, Frank, was a hit with critics and won her two Brit award nominations but it didn't make her famous.
It was around this time that her nocturnal drinking circuits around Camden collided with the path of Blake Fielder-Civil.
Her dad Mitch was a sharp-dressing London boy in his 20s, her mother Janis was more reserved, a quiet but determined woman who disliked confrontation and who had none of the attention-seeking penchant for drama of her youngest child. Janis was 27 when her daughter was born, the same age Amy was when she died, and pictures taken at the time show a face that is hauntingly similar to the icon known the world over. The joke in Janis's family was that "we were so poor we could only afford one face." By the time Amy arrived, things were no longer such a grind.
Mitch worked hard and they were upwardly mobile and ambitious, Janis was training to be a pharmacist while also taking over all of the practical aspects of raising their two kids. She was always pushing boundaries, easily bored, driven by a relentless, exuberant energy. Both her mum and dad were music fans, and her mother's brothers are professional jazz musicians.
Though her first avowed ambition was to be a roller-skating waitress, she was spotted while singing with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra - and eventually found her way to the management offices of Simon Fuller, pop svengali and creator of the Spice Girls.She taught Amy how to read tarot cards and didn't hold back from applying some steely discipline when Janis baulked at the task.Amy adored her, and had her name tattooed on her arm. But they remained close and the split seemed to reshape the family unit rather than blow it apart."Over time, memories get eroded, and MS makes that process worse, so I wanted to put mine on record before they are lost for ever." Her daughter's childhood nickname was Hurricane Amy.From the moment she was born into a lower-middle class Jewish family from Southend, Amy was wayward, seeming to arrive into the world with a fully formed determination to do things her own way.