I used to think that I was the biggest Amy Winehouse fan in the world. I can still remember the first time that I heard Stronger Than Me from her debut album Frank. I fell in love although then I denied it. My older sister used to play that album on full blast all the time and it used to annoy me and I used to plead with her to turn it down. It wasn’t until my sister left for university, taking the album with her that I realised just how much I loved Amy Winehouse so I went my local HMV and bought myself my own copy of Frank.
I listened to that album repeatedly for months each time discovering something new, lost in the echoes of her thunderous smooth vocals. I felt like I knew everything I was wanted to know about Amy Winehouse from her music and for me that was enough.
A few years later she released Rehab off of her album Back To Black and suddenly she was everywhere and I was happy for a while because she was a success and I believed that she deserved it.
Then at some point, it wasn’t about her music anymore, it was about everything else; her marriage, her drug addiction, her alcoholism, her deteriorating weight, even her hair. Suddenly Miss Winehouse was the intro, the middle and the punch line to every joke. People waited eagerly to watch her fall and she never disappointed.
Now that Miss Winehouse is dead and buried, making it into the infamous 27 Club joining the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain to name a few, it seems that she’s been placed on this pedestal that we the public tend to put dead famous people who die young and tragically on. I myself was saddened by the news of her death, but I like many I was not surprised in fact truth be told, I was slightly relieved.
Almost 6 months after her awful demise, she’s still topping charts but now it’s not about her music anymore. Now it’s about obtaining a piece of her because she’s gone and she’s never coming back. The truth is it doesn’t matter how many of her records we buy because she’s taken her music with her.
When I listen to Stronger Than Me now, I don’t feel that thing I felt all those years ago when my sister used to play it. All I hear are words and although the words do move me and make me cry and laugh all at the same time, her music great as it is and was will never be the same again because she’s gone.
For me that is the saddest thing about Amy Winehouse and all the other dead musicians who died so young. The way they lived, their depression, their addiction, the way these aspects of their lives were portrayed by the media and everything else was sad but the saddest thing is that the greatest gift they shared with the world, their music, had to suffer because of all of the above.
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