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Amy Winehouse's Legacy: Tragically Incomplete

Saturday, July 23, 2011 - 02:27 PM

It's bad enough that Amy Winehouse has passed away; what makes it worse is the feeling of near inevitability now that we've gotten the news.  Her own mother told one of the London tabloids several years ago (not the most trustworthy news source, but still...) that she "would not be surprised" if Amy died "before her time."

Right now, the police in London have termed her death "unexplained," but I think we are all, sadly, rushing to the same conclusion.

Amy Winehouse was a larger-than-life character, and she lived a larger-than-life life. The drinking and drugs, the rehab stints, the live performances which reached impressive highs and, more often and more recently, disturbing lows, the fights and the incoherent all fed the tabloid frenzy that followed her wherever she went and fueled our collective feeling that somewhere under all that enormous celebrity was a normal-sized person in big trouble.

Her talent was evident. "Back to Black" will now shoot up the charts again as people recall why we noticed her in the first place. And her long-delayed third album will probably be finished and released in some form. It may suggest that she was returning to what she did best - making catchy, knowing, tart pop songs. Or it may suggest that Winehouse was a one-record flash in the pan.  Either way, she leaves us with a legacy of music that is tragically incomplete, and a legacy of self-destructive behavior that is now both tragically complete, and all too familiar.

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Comments [4]

Dixie from Upper West Side

Felt the great sadness and loss of a superb musician in the way that Janis Joplin's death hit me so many years ago. The loss of their brilliant gifts to music lovers can never be duplicated, though many have tried (Janis) and will try (Amy) to emulate their unique styles.

Jul. 25 2011 02:32 PM
phyllis from brooklyn, oh (crown hts)

@Liz from NJ
you thought of Jim Morrison, while i thought of Janis Joplin...oddly enough, both dead around the same age as Amy w.

Jul. 23 2011 06:36 PM
Liz from NJ

When I think of the superlatives I heard about her concerts (from inspired & brilliant to disappointing & dismal), I can't help but think of Jim Morrison.

I thought she was getting her life together after separating from her husband. Sorry to hear about a death that came far too soon.

Jul. 23 2011 04:11 PM
Boyda Johnstone from New York

You've probably heard this from a few people, but it's "Back to Black," not "Back in Black."

Jul. 23 2011 04:04 PM

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