Amy Winehouse hadn’t released an album in four years, and when she performed on stage, the headlines she usually drew were for atrocious performances. She let her talents fall prey to a drugged-up lifestyle.
Tabloids chronicled her many tribulations, and fans patiently waited for a third album, knowing that with that amazing voice and bitterly honest lyrics, she could eventually return to form and be that riveting singer-songwriter who captured the world’s attention with the self-revelatory Rehab.
But on July 23, as Winehouse’s body was removed from her London apartment, it became clear that that much-anticipated rebirth from the depths of ruin would not occur. Reports said the diva had overdosed on drugs but police refused to speculate on the cause of her death, saying it remained unexplained.
“A date and time for the post-mortem will not be scheduled before Monday morning,” London’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement on July 24. It said enquiries were continuing .
With Winehouse’s death at age 27 — she joins the ranks of rock stars Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain and Jim Morrison, who died at the same age.
She produced lyrics that were coarse, hilarious, heartbreaking and revelatory, and always spellbinding. Her malleable voice had great range, and expertly embodied the emotion of the moment — from sassy defiance to lovelorn longing. Her music was so much more richer than Rehab. The song that made her a worldwide sensation but the she came into her own as an artist with the 2003 album Frank.
Though Winehouse would remain a fixture in the press, it would be more than three years for Back to Black, her next album, to come out. A triumph in Britain and it was highly anticipated in the US. Musically, Winehouse delivered. The album was considered one of the best of that year. Delving into her own warped mindset, the album chronicled her troubled romance and the despair over it with sultry brilliance.
When she put out Back to Black, she declared herself sober: by the end of 2007, she was dealing with troubles with law, failed attempts at rehab, erratic behaviour, cancelled concerts.
Still, she was the belle of the Grammys in 2008 as she captured five trophies, including two most prestigious trophies for Rehab. The fact that she could not attend the Los Angeles ceremony as she was in rehab only crystallised her reputation as an extremely fragile, self-destructive persona.
Winehouse descended into more drug-induced madness. Still, many fans were waiting for her comeback. A new album was teased for 2011, but she clearly wasn’t in any shape to sing. In June 2011, she checked into a clinic for drug problems. Later she cancelled her European tour after embarrassing disjointed mess of a performance in Serbia.
She becomes yet another cautionary tale that some will follow, and others choose to ignore. But like Hendrix, Joplin and others with tragic downfalls, her musical legacy — though ever so brief — will provide that comeback, for her musical legacy.
Source: The Himalayan