Amy Winehouse exhibition shows girl behind the star

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It is Amy Winehouse, but not as we know her. The mass of dark hair, steady gaze and full lips are instantly recognisable, but there is no hint of the scrawny, tattooed addict she would later become.

Intimate family photographs, displayed for the first time in a new exhibition opening in London on Wednesday, offer a heartbreaking glimpse of the fresh-faced Jewish girl who grew up to become one of Britain most famous soul singers.

Two years after she died aged just 27, Winehouse’s older brother Alex has put together a collection of pictures, clothes and memorabilia to remember his sister as she was before drink and drugs brought her low.

He has written a heartfelt caption alongside each item, remembering the Snoopy books they loved as children, the first guitar that he and Winehouse shared — “possibly the worst musical instrument ever made” — and the jazz albums she borrowed from him.

The result is a painfully touching portrait of a woman who won six Grammys — five for the 2006 album “Back to Black” and one awarded posthumously for a duet with Tony Bennett — but could not defeat her inner demons.

After years of drug and alcohol addiction, Winehouse was found dead at her London flat on July 23, 2011 after suffering accidental alcohol poisoning.

There is no mention of this in the exhibition, which deliberately focuses on the good times.

“This is not a shrine or a memorial to someone who has died,” Alex Winehouse wrote in an introduction.

“This is a snapshot of a girl who was at her deepest core simply a little Jewish kid from north London with a big talent.”

The exhibition is being held at the Jewish Museum in Camden, a venue that reflects Winehouse’s cultural identity and is also near to where she lived and died.

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