In my lifetime, I’ve witnessed the deaths of Princess Diana (even though I was only two), Steve Irwin, Michael Jackson, Elisabeth Sladen, Elizabeth Taylor and many more. For each of those listed above, it was an unbelievable event, for they all appeared to be such invincible people, who could not be brought down by something like death.
Amy Winehouse, unlike all those listed above, did not appear indestructible. On the contrary, she seemed dangerously fragile in her recent appearances. Yet her death, even though it’s not wholly unexpected, is still immensely shocking.
I’ll always remember this morning, when I found out she was gone. The sick, stunned feeling when I turned on the TV to find them talking about it; standing in my room watching the heavy rain and thinking, ‘Amy Winehouse can’t be dead! She can’t be!’
It took me a while to realise why exactly I was so upset. I can’t claim to be her biggest fan. I’ve listened to both her albums, and have several of her songs on my iPod (which I’ve been listening to all morning). It’s because I was waiting.
No one can deny that Amy Winehouse had amazing talent. Her songs ranged from heart-broken ballads (Back to Black, Love is a Losing Game, In the Box) to brassy odes on avoiding rehab (Rehab, obviously) and paying out gold-diggers (F***-Me Pumps). Yet even her talent couldn’t save her from the problems that plagued her life. As time went on, she seemed to fall deeper and deeper into a black hole. But I waited and waited for her to come out of it, to rise up and stun us all again with another musical masterpiece.
Surely, somewhere under the chaos, that talent was still there, just waiting to be unleashed? Each time there was an article about her doing something positive, I was so happy for her, convinced she was on the way to recovery. I’d been waiting for years, but I hadn’t given up hope. I was sure it was only a matter of time before she put all her trouble behind her and went back to doing what she did best – being an amazing singer/songwriter.
Now we’ll never know. We’ll never know if she would have overcome the drugs and blown the world away with new material. We’ll never know if she had more in her.
I like to believe she did. I like to believe that if she hadn’t died, she would have eventually broken free, cleaned up, gotten back in the studio, released a third album to great acclaim and toured the world, dazzling us with those bruised-velvet vocals and sharp, heartbreaking lyrics.
But now she won’t. Amy Winehouse is gone. It doesn’t make her a sudden saint, but all we can do is celebrate her talent, and cherish the music she did make.
Rest in peace, Amy.