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What Did Amy Winehouse Mean By Going 'Back To Black'?

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Amy Winehouse was a rising star in music when she tragically passed away at the age of 27. Today we'll discuss the meaning of one of her most popular songs, "Back to Black".

Amy winehouse back to black meaning.
updated on:
February 29, 2024

Amy Winehouse was a Grammy award-winning songwriter and singer from London who penned hits like "Rehab", "Love Is a Losing Game", and "Back to Black". She was known for her soulful vocals and her tales of heartbreak and love.

She tragically passed away in 2011 of alcohol poisoning. The 2015 documentary "Amy" covered her life, career, and death. More recently, a biopic starring Marisa Abela about Amy's life has been produced. Titled "Back to Black", the film hits theaters May 17th.

Today, we'll discuss the meaning behind one of her most iconic songs, "Back to Black".

Amy in 2008, Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

This post is all about amy winehouse back to black meaning.

What is the meaning of the song Back to Black?

Back to Black was a song written by Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson. It was released on April 26, 2007 as the third single of what would end up being her final studio album.

The song is about someone devastated over her lover returning to an ex relationship. Here are some of the lyrics:

You went back to what you knew
So far removed
From all that we went through
And I tread a troubled track
My odds are stacked
I'll go back to black

We only said goodbye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to
I go back to us

Many interpret the phrase, "I'll go back to black" as a euphemism for returning to alcohol or depression, which were both struggles of Amy's at the time. She also allegedly suffered from bulimia, which exacerbated her frailty.

Mark Ronson recently did a video on the creation of the song. He said he helped write the music as an ode to girl groups from the 60s that she idolized, like the Ronettes. He claims Amy wrote the lyrics to the song in about an hour and that the lyric was originally, "I died a hundred deaths" instead of "I died a hundred times". You can watch that here:

Here is also a clip from "Amy" that shows the actual recording session:

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What is the story behind the song Back to Black?

The song Back to Black was written about her tumultuous relationship with Blake Filder-Civil whom she later married. At the time, they had broken up as he returned to resume a relationship with a previous girlfriend.

Many believe the word "black" in the song means heroin, but Amy didn't use heroin until after the song was released. It is more generally interpreted as a dark state of being including depression, anxiety, and potential alcoholism.

Did Back to Black receive a Grammy?

Amy Winehouse's album "Back to Black" won the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album in 2008. She also received the following other Grammys that same year:

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance - "Rehab"

Best New Artist

Song of the Year - "Rehab"

Record of the Year - "Rehab"

What is the Amy Winehouse movie about?

The upcoming Amy Winehouse biopic is a drama film that covers the life of Amy Winehouse. Amy's estate signed a deal in 2018 for her life to be made into a movie.

There is also a 2015 documentary, "Amy" that contains videos of various recording sessions as well as personal home videos. It also features previously unheard music from the singer.

How is the Back to Black biopic different than Amy?

The biopic "Back to Black" is a scripted dramatized film, while "Amy" is a documentary filled with home movies and interviews with people from Amy's life.

I had the pleasure of watching the documentary a few days ago and I really enjoyed hearing more about Amy's life. Although it's obviously a sad ending, it was nice to hear some more about who she was and what was meaningful to her.

If you like this post you may enjoy this post: The Real Story Behind Dolly Parton's Song 'I Will Always Love You'

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Who is playing Amy Winehouse in the upcoming biopic?

Amy Winehouse is being played by Marisa Abela, and English actress. She is known for her roles in the "Barbie" movie and the HBO series "Industry".

How old was Amy Winehouse when she passed away?

Amy Winehouse was just 27 years old when she passed away. Some believe she is now a part of something called the 27 Club, in reference to other troubled artists that passed away at age 27. These include but are not limited to Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, and Jimi Hendrix.

The cause of death in Amy's case was alcohol poisoning, but it is believed amongst family members that she struggled with bulimia for years, contributing to a lack of strength at the time of her death.


Are you planning on watching "Back to Black" in theaters? If you do plan on watching it, check out the documentary "Amy" as well!


Watch on Amazon Prime Video

"Really goes in depth into the tragic life of Amy Winehouse. Any fan should watch this. It will break your heart."

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This post was all about amy winehouse back to black movie.

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