Lily Allen will dedicate her third LP Sheezus (out May 5) to Amy Winehouse. While Allen considered the late singer to be an acquaintance, she also found herself relating to the increased media attention that surrounded Winehouse. “She was not in a great place when we knew each other, so I don’t feel I knew Amy,” Allen said to The Telegraph. “I knew a version of Amy.”
Allen and Winehouse both released albums (Alright, Still and Back to Black, respectively) to critical acclaim in 2006. A few years later, Allen would claim that Winehouse “is very different to what people portray her as being,” compared to headlines of her high-profile drug abuse – “a very clever, intelligent, witty, funny person who can hold it together.” Allen continues to defend her to this day.
“What she had to deal with was 10 times anything I had to deal with,” Allen says. “She’d sold a hell of a lot more albums than me, and there was a lot more interest in her. There were people outside her home 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I know what that was like on a much smaller level, and I felt trapped.”
Such comments are a far gentler criticism directed at celebrity culture, compared to what else Sheezus has to offer. While her “Hard Out Here” video took aim at Robin Thicke‘s “Blurred Lines” and hip-hop video tropes, the title track compares herself to a boxer re-entering the ring: “Second best will never cut it for the divas, give me that crown, bitch, I want to be Sheezus,” according to The Telegraph.
“I am a bit scared – worried about how am I going to be received, and what my kids are going to think, in retrospect, when they grow up, and because I’m not bigger than Beyonce people will write about it as being a failure. Not that I’m putting myself in the same bracket as Beyonce,” Allen says, adding, “There doesn’t have to be a king in music, in the way that Beyonce is the queen. You don’t see after the Oscars, ‘Who Wore It Better: Brad Pitt or Matthew McConaughey?’”
Read the full interview at The Telegraph.
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