The beehive. The makeup. The arms lightly scattered with tattoos. The soulful, scratchy voice. All the little bits of Amy Winehouse added up to make a singer that was as talented as she was troubled. On July 23rd, the world lost this British singer. According to MTV.com, Winehouse’s family believes that the singer may have died from alcohol withdrawal, after claiming she wanted to quit “cold turkey”. Winehouse struggled with alcohol and cocaine addiction, as characterized in her hit song “Rehab” (no, no, no). Her songs on YouTube are being flooded with comments ranging from the standard, “RIP <3” to the more bold, “She had it coming.”
Perhaps most startling is that, when trying to access her official website, you are greeted with a black-and-white picture of Winehouse looking up at you mysteriously from an armchair against a solid black background. Nothing else remains at the site as of this time. As fans mourn, reporters theorize, and the memorial outside Winehouse’s home grows, people are struggling with the whole picture of this rich-voiced, sultry-eyed singer. Live performances of the British singer show her smiling, eyes lit up, as she sings for a cheering audience–the image refusing to line up with the idea of music never again coming from her.
And now–with her death so new and shocking–it’s easy to focus on all the things that drove her to death; to gossip about her addictions, her bad relationships, her devil-may-care lifestyle. But really, this is the time to celebrate Amy Winehouse’s beautiful voice and distinctive music. As Winehouse fades “back to black,” let’s make sure her legacy is her music, and not the addictions that eventually consumed her. “I just need a friend,” Winehouse croons in her song Rehab. Now, I think, is the perfect time to be that.
Sequoia (yes, her parents are hippies) enjoys reading, writing, and listening to music! Her favorite music is Japanese pop and rock but she’ll curl up with a Linkin Park CD any day. Hajimemashite! (That’s ‘nice to meet you’, to you civilians.)