It’s slightly more than 24 hours since we learned about Amy Winehouse’s death. The media has gone into full-on circus mode as they speculate on cause of death. Some reports even suggest that Amy’s ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil may be on suicide watch.
Personally, I think that’s the media trying to drag out a tragic story in a summer that’s had precious little real news for them to pick over.
I’m more interested to discover what the music fans on Unreality Shout think about Amy’s death. Please share your thoughts in our comments area below, and on our Facebook page.
For me (and I suspect most people), Amy Winehouse didn’t burst onto the music scene with her debut album. It was Back To Black that introduced the world to Amy Winehouse. That album captured a moment in time, perfectly marrying Winehouse’s songwriting and vocals to Mark Ronson’s production genius. Between them, Winehouse and Ronson created a sound that singers over the next few years would try to emulate.
Of course, Amy’s very glib ode to addiction, Rehab, hung like a cloud over her career. The tabloid press were instantly captivated by that song and Winehouse’s abuses of alcohol and drugs were put under the microscope from that moment onward. Rehab came to represent the futile cry of an addict, thinking they had their addiction under control despite all the evidence to the contrary.
The papers and gossip websites soon filled up with pictures of Amy looking wobbly, staggering out of pubs, picking fights with photographers. That trademark beehive was almost a barometer for how sober Amy was at any given time – but more often than not, it was pictured as a straggly, collapsing mess. Her record company tried to intervene. Her parents both expressed concern about her. But nobody seemed to be able to bring the wayward singer back to her career.
Despite being utterly captivated by Back To Black, I eventually gave up all hope of Amy ever releasing a follow-up album. It wasn’t even clear that Amy had been able to write any songs. And as time went on and musical trends changed, it was doubtful whether Amy could even recapture the success of her second album. If memory serves me, it was always said that Amy was a fairly heavy boozer, but it wasn’t until after her meteoric rise to fame that she began dabbling in drugs.
When yesterday’s news came through, it felt long overdue. Amy’s death was almost expected.
Amy Winehouse joins a long list of artists whose talent became perverted and twisted by fame. It’s sad that such an amazing artist became derailed by fame. And in some ways when I look at pictures of Amy in the press now, I can almost see the vulnerable little girl she must have been underneath all her stage bravado. She joins the Kurt Cobains, the Jimi Hendrixes and Jim Morrisons – revolutionary performers whose fame was their own downfall.
So, over to you: how do you feel about the untimely death of Amy Winehouse?