I am not grieving for Amy Winehouse. Sure, she was talented. But more than anything she appeared in tabloids for being drunk, stoned, anorexic and in a toxic, often violent relationship. There are plenty of talented contemporary blues singers with a unique flavor (Joss Stone, Adele and Duffy come to mind) that I never felt compelled to buy her music, or listen to her. As a woman, I just can’t participate in the glorification of self-hatred.
Artist in torment? That may be. But she had a gift. Millions of dollars. And no will to live. I don’t understand addiction to alcohol, or drugs – and I damn sure don’t understand what drives someone with access to excellent medical care and a real support system to turn away from the light and run straight for the darkness. There are amazing men and women who triumph over addiction without all the advantages Winehouse had. Was she making a conscious decision?
One of my favorite writers is Jim Mitchem. Honesty is what he serves up. His column, Amy Winehouse and the Big Lie, is definitive. Buried within his prose is a sentence so perfect, only Dante could emerge from the fire more beautifully:
And so if recovery is divine, then the opposite must also be true.
Read his piece. It’s brilliant, beautiful and raw.