Singer Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London home yesterday. As of this writing, her cause is death unknown. She was 27.
Despite her young age, Winehouse had a long history of alcohol, drug abuse, eating disorders and other health problems. Of course, abuse of alcohol, drugs and food are often symptoms of self-loathing. Even if one blessed with enormous talent (as was Winehouse with her singing voice) sometimes it isn’t enough to overcome such feelings. Needless to say, Winehouse could not handle fame never mind cope with day to day living.
Winehouse only recorded two albums in her short career. First came the jazz oriented Frank which was released in 2003 and well received in the UK. Three years later, Winehouse released Back to Black which launched her into the stratosphere and earned her a boatload of Grammys. “Rehab” would become her signature song in more ways than one. Erratic live performances and an inability to record a follow up album would plague her during the last years of her life.
Yet this didn’t prevent the legendary Tony Bennett from inviting Winehouse to record a duet with him at Abbey Road Studios for his Duets II album which is due to be released in September. Bennett lamented her loss stating he was “deeply saddened to learn of her tragic passing.” He went on to describe Winehouse as “an extraordinary musician with a rare intuition as a vocalist.”
Prior to her passing, Bennett had said that he enjoyed working with Winehouse more than anyone else on Duets II. Bennett said he and Winehouse were in sync after telling her she reminded him of Dinah Washington. Like Winehouse, Washington was an extraordinary talent who died far too young as well.
Perhaps now Amy Winehouse can find the kind of peace she never knew here.