Paying Respects to Amy

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When I saw the first of the Facebook statuses proclaiming that singer Amy Winehouse had died, I assumed that it was just a rumour. Then I turned on the television and a rumour became a reality.

Winehouse died on 23rd July 2011, aged just 27. She was found dead in her bed by a member of her security at her home in Camden.

Winehouse’s funeral is happening today (26th July 2011), and it is a private family affair being held in Golders Green. I live a short ten minutes walk away from where Amy Winehouse lived in Camden, and so I decided to go to her house and pay my respects.

I have always been an admirer of Winehouse’s music, although I wouldn’t call myself a particularly big fan. Granted, she had a great voice and was extremely talented, but I found myself getting fed up with her constant public drunkenness and drug abuse.

When I reached Amy Winehouse’s house, it had been cornered off with police tape, but there were still hundreds of people milling around, expressing their admiration for the singer. There were lots of candles, cards and flowers, and many fans had painted pictures. There were also lots and lots of bottles of alcoholic drinks, beer cans and packets of cigarettes which had been placed outside her home. Presumably people left these objects as a tribute to Winehouse’s lifestyle, although I found that quite strange as her lifestyle is assumed to be what ultimately killed her.

There were cards and messages written in many different languages, displaying Winehouse’s worldwide impact. Most cards and messages proclaimed sadness and grief, although there were also quite a few messages of anger that Winehouse hadn’t tried hard enough to leave the drugs behind. One message really caught my attention, it was from a young woman stating that she had the same drug problems as Winehouse, and thank God she didn’t have the same amount of money, or the dead one could have been her.

Many people had clearly been outside the house for a long time, and the tone was very quiet and respectful. There were no ‘should’ve gone to rehab’ jokes, and it was very quiet. Occasionally someone would play a Winehouse song through a speaker.

Although the coroner’s verdict of Winehouse’s death was undetermined, the general consensus among the public is that she died due to her turbulent relationship with drugs and alcohol. Her death means that she will remain 27 forever, immortalised through her music, and for the inspiration that she gave to many.

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Discussion1 Comment

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    RIP Amy. The death is a loss to family and friends, and the music industry has clearly been shaped by her talent. As much as I agree with this, and her future music will be sorely missed, I can’t help but feel her life was leading towards this. Her addictions to alcohol and drugs was ridiculous, and it was such a shame that her image was clearly of this; rather than the talent she possessed. If there is ANY advert to shy away from taking or becoming addicted to drugs, it was her. She had so many opportunities of rehab, help, legal issues, etc. etc. Had she taken these up and not continued to be the troubled star she was, we would still be seeing her today. I understand any situation like this is very hard to understand and even harder to change personally – but as I say, she had the choice to change – but didn’t. It is such a shame.

    Because of this I was shocked to see Sky News reporting this as more “devastating” and “overwhelming” news than the attacks in Norway where 80 or so *teenagers* were killed at random, without reason, by some maniac who will probably never serve the time he fully deserves. Those 80 didn’t have a choice.

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