Amy Winehouse fans lambast Back in Black producers for failing to use star’s voice in biopic

Winehouse died in 2011 at the age of 27. She was found unresponsive at her home in Camden. Her cause of death was revealed to be accidental alcohol poisoning after two inquests. The singer had struggled with addiction, using heroin and cocaine among other drugs.

Taylor-Johnson told The Sunday Times Culture Magazine that the film was not controversial “in any way,” adding: “Noise will always be big about something like this, but nobody has really seen it yet and we’ve made it through Amy’s words, music, her perspective.”

For the singing in the biopic, the initial plan had been to use original Winehouse vocals, but Abela’s training four times a week for two hours at a time meant the actress’s voice could be used.

‘You’ve got to get the body right’

Her vocal coach, Anne-Marie Speed, said: “It’s full-time preparation, it’s like an athlete. You’ve got to get the body working in the right way to truly produce the voice.”

Ms Miles, who has been a vocal coach for 14 years, said: “Amy Winehouse was something very, very different.

“And I’ve heard Marisa do a few bits and pieces and her voice does sound lovely, but it sounds too clean.

“I think what we heard of Amy’s voice was very, very organic … So to try and actually replicate that on a non-singer … I think they’ve just tried to make it sound too perfect, and you can’t work on perfection when you’re trying to sing an Amy Winehouse song.”

Meanwhile, Chris Palmer, the head vocal coach for Guildford School of Acting, defended the decision to use Abela’s vocals in the film.

‘Why should a talented singer mime?’

He said: “Why should a director of a film biopic suggest to a talented performer such as Marisa Abela, who is well trained and has been cast for her acting abilities as well as her singing, that she should mime?

“From a personal perspective, if I were watching a biopic and the performer was miming I would find this somewhat incongruous.”

It marks the first major role for Brighton-born Abela, who previously starred in the TV show Industry, about young finance graduates.

Speaking about portraying Winehouse, the actress said she would have never put herself “on the chopping block” unless she felt she could do it.

“I never wanted to trick anyone. Sometimes you audition and you say you can ride a horse, speak Spanish or sword fight, when you can’t. I was never, ever going to do that here.”

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