For all the exciting promotional plans being conceived on Amy Winehouse’s behalf as her second album “Back to Black” (Island) takes her around the world, the artist remains unusually insouciant. “I love doing music and playing gigs,” she says, “and I’m really grateful for the opportunity to do so. But to be honest, I’m not the kind of person that will think about the demographic.”
The 23-year-old singer/songwriter’s pop-friendly, soul-tinged style has translated to U.K. shipments of more than 650,000 for “Back to Black” since its Oct. 30, 2006, release, according to Universal Music U.K. Released Feb. 5 in most European territories, the album streets this week in the United States via Universal Republic. That release in itself is a measure of Winehouse’s burgeoning mainstream potential.
Reports of Winehouse’s colorful social life as a bon viveur, continuingly fed on by British newspapers, were hardly discouraged by the release of “Rehab” as the first U.K. single from “Back to Black” (sample lyric: “They tried to make me go to rehab/I said no, no, no.” It hit the British top 10 in November — her first top 40 single.
“I’ve just come out of a really bad relationship and literally written songs off the top of my head; there wasn’t anything premeditated about them,” Winehouse says.