Amy Winehouse (1983 - 2011)
When I was first told about the death of Amy Winehouse I have to admit I didn't feel particularly surprised by it. I know that sounds awful and don't get me wrong, I love her music but I just felt more shocked than surprised.
I reminded myself of when I listened to Winehouse back in the days of Rehab's release. The song tirelessly blasted through every radio station. I just didn't seem to 'get it' at first. Why she's putting on that voice? Why does she have to repeat the word 'no' again and again and again? And, why is everyone loving this?!!!
But as more of her singles entered the charts, I couldn't believe what I'd been missing out on.
One of my all-time favourite songs now is 'You know I'm no good'. There's no 'personal' reason as to why I like it. I don't connect with the song in anyway. I don't tend to think 'I'm no good' either. Far from it (ha!) I just like the way in which she sings it, the lyrics and the tune. Simple, really.
Aside from her music, it was obvious she was leading a troubled life. I still quince at the thought of those bloody-toed ballet pump images and photographs of her bruised face. Something wasn't right and over the years she began to look incredibly frail and 'not all there'.
Everyone seems to be blaming her death on her destructive relationship with Blake, (even his mother it appears) but after watching a recent biographical documentary, it is apparent that Amy has had a lot of failed relationships. Perhaps these may not have been as intense as hers and Blake's, but she's still been left heartbroken nonetheless. And it is the feelings she has felt from these relationships that inspired her songs. So, ironic as it is, if she never went through such misery she may have never made her fortune.
As you can probably guess, I've become particularly engrossed with all things Amy at the moment. Through scouring her name on the web I've come across many interesting articles of her unfortunate death. One of which has stuck in my mind is the piece written by Amy's friend Russell Brand; who sums up her addiction and ultimately, the perception of her death, pretty accurately:
'Amy increasingly became defined by her addiction. Our media though is more interested in tragedy than talent, so the ink began to defect from praising her gift to chronicling her downfall. The destructive personal relationships, the blood-soaked ballet slippers, the aborted shows, that YouTube madness with the baby mice. In the public perception this ephemeral tittle-tattle replaced her timeless talent. This and her manner in our occasional meetings brought home to me the severity of her condition.