I can't tell you how I heard Amy Winehouse, but I am 99% sure it was in a zip file that came to me from a dear friend who told me to not just to unzip and listen, but to listen closely. I did and was astounded by what I did hear. Her flame burned bright and then amidst tabloid headlines and personal addictions, it became less about the music to the point that she was off my radar so much so that I completely left her record off my decade best list.
I was saddened by her passing but didn't feel I should write about it because there are others whose work would easily eclipse mine. That being said, you should read every word of the next two pieces:
Russell Brand wrote the most emotional tribute I have read. When the attention on her life went from music to what was in her veins, I tuned out. But Brand puts her life, her music and her soul on display for all. More importantly, he puts the tragedy into perspective from his own experience. A must read.
The other piece is by someone I admire beyond words and I would even dare say I feel close to her despite never meeting her; Holly Gleason. She writes beautifully with deep knowledge of the subject matter and winds her prose with not just a piece of herself, but you as well. She truly encapsulates the thoughts that run inside of you when you experience music like no other. Her piece on Amy is a commentary on not just her music but our sick and odd fascination with seeing celebrities fail. I wish I could have written this piece. Go HERE now and be dazzled.
In the end, I'm saddened Amy wasn't able to find some sort of piece and continue to create. But above all else she was someone's friend, someone's lover and someone's child and her absence will leave a gap never filled and that is the greatest tragedy of them all. So the next time you make a joke about her addictions, remember, there are people whose lives will forever be shattered by her absence.