Amy Winehouse: In 100 Words or Less

3992 days ago.

“An artist is never fully appreciated until they are dead.”


Since her untimely demise last Saturday, I’ve been seeing blog after blog and post after post about Amy Winehouse, and with the exception of Russell Brand’s ode, none of them seem sincere.  So I’m just going to write. It may or may not be cohesive, and I don’t care….Amy would have wanted it that way.

Let me start off by saying that I am not one of those “now that they’re dead I’m going to act like I knew them” type of people.  I got hip to Amy in 2004, just a year after her ‘Frank’ album debuted.  My friend Ira had been buzzing about this girl for two weeks straight while I’d never seen nor heard of “this Winehouse chick.”  After he figured enough was enough, he took the cd out of the sleeve, gave it to me and told me to listen without prejudice and made me promise not to Google her until I had finished the entire album.  As soon as I got into my car I popped the cd in and went to a random song.  (I NEVER play cds from the beginning.)  The song “Stronger than Me” immediately caught my attention.  It was about a lover that had put up with their mate long enough, and before they got their walking papers, they got told to their face every single last thing they’d done wrong in the relationship.

‘You should be stronger than me, you’ve been here 7 years longer than me, don’t you know you’re supposed to be the man? Not pale in comparison to who you think I am.’

I was in love.

The girl singing the song held my eardrums captive with her pitch-perfect raspy voice…I pictured hot fish grease as soon as I heard her sing. I couldn’t take any more. I broke my promise to my friend and Googled her…and was shocked at my discovery.  I was expecting to see a rotund African-American chick with dreadlocks and a bad sense of style, but before my eyes stood a skinny British-Jewish girl with long dark ringlets of hair cascading down her back with hazel doe eyes, staring at me from my computer screen.  My obsession began.

For the last seven years I have witnessed Amy sing flawless performances, complete with her perfectly bee-hived hair and her classic 1950’s-styled dresses to seeing her literally deteriorate before my eyes wearing bloodied ballet slippers, seeing her do crack via-YouTube, and watching in horror as my angelic voiced new obsession was entering into a downward spiral.  By this time “Back to Black” had hit the shelves, she had garnered 5 Grammys and Amy was becoming a household name…but not because of her immense talent.  I felt like people were focusing more on her demons and not her voice….and I didn’t like it.  Every time she entered rehab I prayed she would emerge even more beautiful and stronger than before, but each time was met with opposite results.

I’ve cried my tears for you, Amy Winehouse. I’ve played both of your albums and wondered what went wrong…when did it go wrong?  I will not be sad, Amy…I will continue to be a fan and I will continue to play your music and learn from your mistakes.  I will reach out for help if I feel like I can’t make it alone.  I will not fade to black because of my inner demons, and I will walk this Earth with purpose …because you would have wanted it that way.  Rest in peace, my dear sweet Amy.

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