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Film reveals Amy Winehouse aspired to be hip-hop star

By Marilyn Malara
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Film reveals Amy Winehouse aspired to be hip-hop star
Amy Winehouse, pictured here at the 2007 MTV Music Awards, apparently aspired to a career in hip-hop as a young girl, having recorded her first songs with a friend as they were teens. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Amy Winehouse's first professionally recorded songs were odes to her favorite hip-hop group, Salt-N-Pepa.

In exclusive footage included with a DVD, Blu-ray or iTunes download of Asif Kapadia's documentary Amy, the late singer's friendship and musical relationship with Juliette Ashby is chronicled as a defining season in her life.

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According to reports, the clip peaks into Winehouse's childhood, when she formed a dual hip-hop group with Ashby in honor of Salt-N-Pepa called Sweet 'n' Sour at the age of 10. Several years later, Ashby's stepfather and producer Alan Glass placed the girls behind professional microphones to record some of the earliest songs of Winehouse's career.

Three of the duo's songs --"Glam Chicks," "Spinderella," and "Boys...Who Needs Them" -- were all recorded during that time, although the last song was reportedly not approved for official release in the film.

"Juliette and Amy were like husband and wife," director Kapadia recounted to Rolling Stone. "So much of the power of the film is really about their relationship. Amy's a kid with a kid's voice, but she could do it. She had talent even back then...Sweet 'n' Sour is nice because it's them doing their version of Salt-N-Pepa. Amy's obviously sour, but they take it really seriously."

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Amy Winehouse died during the summer of 2011 in London. Toxicology reports at the time showed the artist had no illegal drugs in her body when she died although alcohol was present. The 27-year-old Grammy award-winning singer is best known for her 2008 song "Rehab" from her album Back to Black.

The additional footage of Amy is available with a purchase of the film on iTunes starting this week; the documentary will be available on DVD and Blu-ray Dec. 1. There is a total of 17 new scenes previously unreleased including Winehouse's first live show, several interviews and a press briefing regarding why the British singer's visa request to attend the Grammy's in 2008 was denied.

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