Monday, July 25, 2011

RIP Amy Winehouse

1983-2011

I'm a few days late in this obituary, since it was announced that British singer Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London home on Friday, though no cause of death has yet been announced. However, I did want to take a moment to memorialize the troubled, talented artist, a woman who had a much firmer grip on her creative output than she did on her life. Infamous for her struggles with drug and alcohol addiction, Winehouse was in and out of rehab for most of her career, which led to many cancelled tours and concert no-shows. However, despite her troubles, she released two great albums: Frank, her UK debut, and the instant classic Back to Black, a tour de force of Winehouse's gift at crafting timeless songs of heartbreak. Her whiskey-soaked vocals gave her songs, such as unlikely pop smash "Rehab," a gravitas that few other artists her age could achieve, and she backed them up with a Spectorian sound straight from the 1950s. Though she herself never recorded another finished album (her in-progress third album may be posthumously finished and released), she did pave the way for a number of neo-soul singers, most notably Duffy and Adele. She will be missed.


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