News that 27-year-old singer Amy Winehouse was found dead at her home in London sadly comes as a shock, but not a surprise.
In her 2006 smash “Rehab” she boasted of refusing to get treatment. There were, of course, well-publicized stints in various treatment facilities. And there was as much publicity every time she publicly fell off the wagon.
Her music is her legacy, but so too is her death — a reminder that addiction is a curse that transcends the ages and holds captive even the brightest minds.
Several years ago, I interviewed Winehouse fans as they waited for her concert at the Varsity in Dinkytown. She showed up to the show an hour late, and the show lasted only 45 minutes. Fans said they were disappointed, but not totally surprised.
She is her generation’s troubled talent – a figure similar to Janice Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobaine. One wonders if the 24/7 world of internet coverage of her stints in rehab, struggles with eating disorders and botched concert appearances contributed to her death.
Ultimately, however, her loss is a reminder that the most talented among us can also be the most tortured, and that addiction doesn’t discriminate when it comes to age, gender, income or success.
Click here to see a slide show of Londoners mourning Winehouse’s death.