Page last updated at 14:05 GMT, Monday, 21 July 2008 15:05 UK

Amy and Blake: Love and turmoil

By Mark Savage
BBC News Entertainment reporter

Amy Winehouse and Blake Fielder-Civil

As turbulent rock relationships go, Amy Winehouse and Blake Fielder-Civil are up there with Sid and Nancy or Kurt and Courtney.

The couple met in a bar in 2005. Winehouse was riding high on the success of her first album, Frank; Fielder-Civil was a "music video assistant".

Their romance burned bright, but it was short-lived. Fielder-Civil went back to his old girlfriend and Winehouse, petrified that she had lost the love of her life, drowned her sorrows.

But the split provided the raw material for Back To Black, the album that was to propel her into the mainstream.

"The songs literally did write themselves," she said later. "I thought we'd never see each other again. He laughs about it now... but I don't think it's funny. I wanted to die."

Winehouse's lyrics, searingly honest, show just how badly she took the break-up.

"It's okay in the day I'm staying busy / Tied up enough so I don't have to wonder where is he? / Got so sick of crying."

But the album's title track predicts the couple's eventual reconciliation: "We only said goodbye with words".

Wedding vows

They were back together in 2007 in the midst of the maelstrom of a promotional tour for Back To Black.

Sunday Times writer Jenny Eliscu witnessed their romance up close during a trip to Canada.

"During dinner, she fusses over Blake so much that I almost feel embarrassed for her," she wrote.

"At one point, she asks me for a piece of paper and spends the next two minutes with her hand cupped secretively over the top while she scribbles a note, folds it in half and hands it to him.

"'We do that all the time,' she says. 'Even if we're out somewhere together, we'll write notes to each other.'"

Blake Fielder-Civil and Amy Winehouse
The couple are said to be inseparable

Days after the interview with Eliscu, Winehouse and Fielder-Civil dashed to Miami and exchanged wedding vows in the company of just a few friends.

The spontaneous ceremony reportedly cost a mere £65, and was celebrated with a breakfast of burger and chips and a 48-hour hotel room lock-in.

Together, the couple seemed to fuel each other's bad habits. Reports of drug abuse and self-harm escalated, and Winehouse was caught on video carving the words "I Love Blake" on her stomach using a shard of glass.

Winehouse proudly showed a Rolling Stone reporter photographs of her and Fielder-Civil "passing pills to each other with their tongues".

More headlines followed when reports of a heated argument in a London hotel were illustrated with the singer sporting bruises and Fielder-Civil covered in scratches.

Last October, the couple were arrested in Norway for cannabis possession. They spent a night in police cells but were released after paying a fine.

Blowing kisses

A month later, Winehouse's world was thrown into turmoil when Fielder-Civil was arrested on suspicion of attacking a pub landlord in Hoxton, London, then attempting to bribe him to drop the assault allegation.

Amy Winehouse
Winehouse has often attended her husband's court appearances

Attending her husband's bail hearing, the singer was clearly distraught, blowing kisses and shouting "I love you" across the courtroom.

Fielder-Civil was denied bail, and later admitted to assault and perverting the course of justice.

The star's erratic behaviour only worsened with her husband in jail. She was pictured wandering the streets of Camden at night in various states of inebriation and undress.

Her tour, supposed to be a triumphant celebration of a phenomenally successful year, was cancelled half-way through.

Winehouse apologised to fans, saying: "I can't give it my all on stage without my Blake.

"My husband is everything to me and without him it just isn't the same."

Protest anthem

2008 has seen the star back in rehab and taking steps to repair her tattered public image - but she is clearly preoccupied with the wellbeing of the man she calls her "baby".

At Nelson Mandela's birthday concert in London last month, she changed the words of protest anthem Free Nelson Mandela to "Free Blakey my fella".

Accepting a Grammy award earlier in the year, she dedicated the prize to "My Blake, incarcerated".

But she failed to turn up for Fielder-Civil's sentencing - perhaps she had been tipped off that he would not be released (he was sentenced to 27 months behind bars).

Those close to the singer may be breathing a sigh of relief. Winehouse's father recently told Sky News that his son-in-law would have to change his ways if he was released.

"I would say it's last chance saloon if he comes out and they go back to doing what they were doing before," said Mitch Winehouse.



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SEE ALSO
Jail term for Winehouse's husband
21 Jul 08 |  London
Media circus dogs Amy's footsteps
25 Apr 08 |  Entertainment
Winehouse 'aunt': Leave Amy alone
15 May 08 |  Entertainment
Transcript: Winehouse's parents-in-law
28 Aug 07 |  Entertainment
Transcript: Amy Winehouse's father
28 Aug 07 |  Entertainment
Profile: Amy Winehouse
29 Jul 08 |  Entertainment

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