• Sat, Jul 23 2011

A Eulogy for Amy Winehouse from Someone Who Knew Her Only Through the Tabloids

Police found Amy Winehouse dead at her apartment in London earlier today; though the authorities are calling her death “unexplained,” rumors buzz that it was a drug overdose. And really, what else could it have been for the singer, who’s publicly battled addiction since her single “Rehab” made her a phenomenon five years ago?

I realize I didn’t know much at all about Winehouse beyond the usual: Beehive hairdo, bad teeth, scrawny frame, husband trouble, drugs, gorgeous voice. Her music boosted her up the fame ladder, but she spent her time at the top gambling with her health and blowing all of the money and opportunities she made.

But there must have been a troubled, frightened woman underneath all the public scandals. It’s awful that she was unable to recognize the help offered by family and colleagues and continued on in a self-destructive path. As much of a trainwreck as she became in the last few years, she didn’t deserve an ignominious death like this.

Ironically, the one who can best describe Winehouse is herself. The only other song of hers I know is “You Know I’m No Good,” which I hadn’t listened to for at least a year before today. It’s chilling how well it describes her.

She’s pretty captivating when she performs. If only that could have been her priority.

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