Winehouse's ancestors were Russian Jewish and Polish Jewish immigrants to London.
Amy Jade Winehouse was born on September 14, 1983, in the suburb of Southgate in London, England. Her father, Mitch Winehouse, worked as a cab driver, while mother Janis was employed as a pharmacist. In her early years, Winehouse was immersed in music; many of her uncles on her mother's side were professional jazz musicians, and her father sang as a child with his family. Winehouse's paternal grandmother was also once romantically involved with British jazz legend Ronnie Scott. She has one older brother, Alex.
Winehouse grew up listening to a diverse range of music, from James Taylor to Sarah Vaughan. At the age of 10, she was drawn to listen to American R&B and hip-hop acts, including TLC and Salt-N-Pepa, and she founded a short-lived amateur rap group called Sweet 'n Sour.