Amy Winehouse was found dead at her home today at the age of 27.
There will be a great deal of sorrow, but can there be much surprise? Watching Amy was like watching those videos of horrible injuries online. We can’t look away; it’s appalling yet riveting. If we are truthful, we enjoyed watching it; we watched it with something like aghast superiority.
She was incredibly talented, with one of those great go-go voices. Her lyrics and wit were a little corrosive, but always delivered with a eye-linered wink. She was like a naughty Annette Funicello; a sultry, tattooed Gidget; Billie Holiday with the crackly voice and a beehive…and all her subsequent problems.
Her rise was meteoric and her fall was equally so. Her struggles were also painfully public. After a disastrous, drunken performance in Serbia last month, the reaction on pop culture websites and magazines was fierce. And this occurred right after a stint in rehab.
She was polarizing and not always charming. Watching all that talent, you wanted her to help herself. She tread the path of so many other stars, the ones who discover that even with fame they essentially remain the same people, with all the beauties and blotches they’d always had.
I like this photo of Amy. She looks happy, full of success and fulfilled dreams.
There are, of course, photos of her looking dirty, drunk and disoriented posted all over the internet. There’s no need to repost any of them here. This is an elegy, not a biography. And it’s a sad end for the creator of an album cited as “one of the finest soul albums, British or otherwise, to come out for years.”
If you love her music, listen to it today and hear her voice at its best.
“I’m of the school of thought where, if you can’t sort something out for yourself, no one can help you. Rehab is great for some people but not others.”
— Amy Winehouse