Amy Winehouse was found dead in London today at age 27, and I find myself really saddened, although not surprised. I didn't know Amy, obviously, but I loved her voice. I listen to Back to Black all the time. I just made a comment on another blog yesterday that I love the soulful singers that are coming out of the UK (Adele, Amy, Jessie J) and I wished Amy would get it together and make another album. And now she never will.
Amy was talented, no question. You can't hear this and not recognize that she had a gift. But she was also really troubled. Plagued by addiction, perhaps unable to handle the demands of celebrity (she was only 20 when her first album, Frank, was released in the UK, and only 23 when Back to Black came out and blew up), and surrounded by people who didn't have her best interests at heart (with the exception of her father and father-in-law, the latter of whom called for a boycott of her music until she got some help). What makes me saddest is that she almost seemed to be committing slow suicide at the end of her life. That clip of her slurring and forgetting the words during concerts last month (she cancelled the remainder of her appearances afterward) ... it was clear that she was deeply unwell, and deeply troubled, and there seemed to be no attempt, even, to get out of it.
A few years ago, one of my best friends and I were gossiping about celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears (this was when she was in the throes of whatever she was going through - I think she'd just shaved her head, which prompted the conversation) and my friend brought up Amy Winehouse. She said she thought Amy would die young. We talked about the news today, and she was sad to have been right. I am too. Hopefully she's found some peace. And hopefully this will inspire others in the lives of celebrities like Amy - young, fragile, turning to bad things to cope - to take their health and safety more seriously.