Her music captivated millions; her highly public struggles with drugs and alcohol drew the attention of millions more. But it all ended on July 23, 2011 when Amy Winehouse died in her North London home at the young age of 27.
But in life’s ultimate irony, one of her biggest songs actually contained everything she needed to be alive today.
Amy Winehouse was one of Britain’s most successful crossover musicians. The R&B/jazz/soul singer enjoyed massive audiences on both sides of the Atlantic and in her short career, she won multiple Grammy’s (as well as other awards) and entertained millions via her worldwide tours. Some of her most popular tunes included You Know I’m No Good, In My Bed, Back to Black, and Wake Up Alone.
But without a doubt, her biggest tune was Rehab, the song that Time Magazine called the Best Song of 2007. Ironically, Rehab’s chorus carried an eerie and haunting foreshadowing of her fate:
They tried to make me go to rehab but I said ‘no, no, no’
Yes I’ve been black but when I come back you’ll know know know
I ain’t got the time and if my daddy thinks I’m fine
He’s tried to make me go to rehab but I won’t go go go
Eventually, Winehouse did check into a rehabilitation center, but it did precious little to curb her craving for powerful drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, and heroine. Roughly 4 years after leaving the private rehabilitation center in England, the singer was found dead in what was an apparent overdose (though the initial autopsy reports have come back inconclusive).
At the time of her death, one of Winehouse’s friends told Britain’s Daily Mirror, “She has spent the last seven days on a massive bender, and people were saying she’s going to drink herself to death.” Even the singer’s own mother claimed Amy appeared “out of it” the day before her tragic death; her mother sensed that Amy’s demise was “only a matter of time.”
There’s an important lesson in there about accountability – Amy didn’t seem to have any. Those who knew the truth didn’t seem to act on it very strongly.
What a terribly sad waste of incredible talent. I wish Amy would have gotten the help she needed.
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(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)