Will Amy Winehouse’s Third Album See the Light of Day?

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Singer Amy Winehouse onstage at Koko in the London district of Camden Town on Nov. 14, 2006

In the aftermath of the singer’s passing at the age of 27, a different number has hovered into view: three.

Three would be the number of albums the British musician will ultimately have to her name if an unfinished last record receives a posthumous release. The album could then be added to her 2003 debut, Frank, and the sublime Grammy-award winning 2006 follow up, Back To Black.

In this day and age where careers don’t seem to be hampered by death (Tupac Shakur has arguably put out more music from beyond the grave than while on this mortal coil), the odds must point toward Winehouse’s third record eventually coming out.

(PHOTOS: The Life and Times of Amy Winehouse)

A year ago, she told the British tabloid newspaper, Metro, that, “The [new] album will be six months at the most … It’s going to be very much the same as my second album.” Even more recently, in April, her goddaughter Dionne Bromfield (who was the person Winehouse made her final ever public appearance with at the Roundhouse in North London last week) told Digital Spy that, “I have heard it, and it’s very good!”

As with so much surrounding Winehouse right now, it’s difficult to ascertain the actual truth. When the Daily Telegraph reports that “Winehouse had spent the past two years working sporadically on a third album. Sources said that the songs were at demo stage but there was ‘a lot of material’ available,” this appears as accurate an account as there may well be. One wonders whether the producer du jour, and the man who helped helm Back To Black, Mark Ronson, will get involved as it didn’t seem as if they had necessarily been seeing eye to eye.

The British newspaper is also claiming that Winehouse’s parents, Janis and Mitch (who is a singer in his own right) will have the final say on the release, though the music industry is of the opinion that it would outsell Back To Black‘s five million copies.

If iTunes is anything to go by since Winehouse passed away on Saturday, you’d have to agree. Within hours of Winehouse dying, Back To Black had gone back to the top of the iTunes chart, with sales of “Rehab” doing gangbusters business. But perhaps her parents want creative control for fear of the finished product getting lukewarm reviews, as was the case with the late Michael Jackson’s recent Michael album.

And if you look past the thought that Russell Brand’s letter of support may have done wonders for Winehouse’s own brand, the most important consideration is surely that, when you consider her relatively small body of work (you can pretty much listen to everything Winehouse ever recorded in the space of two hours), protecting her precious material is the key to ensuring that Winehouse isn’t forgotten about in the future. (via Vulture)

(MORE: Amy Winehouse and the Pain of Addiction)

Glen Levy is an Executive Producer at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @glenjl. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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