She took from soul, blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, and 60’s Motown and then made them her own.
You couldn’t really define her because she crossed over into so many different music genres.
Her voice was both strong and powerful, and emotional and fragile.
And for all those things, that's what I loved about her.
You didn’t have to be a fan of Amy Winehouse, like I was, to understand this post because I’m sure you’ve all known favorite actors, musicians, artists, or even someone in your own life that perhaps struggled with or passed away due to alcohol and/or drug addiction.
Yes, Amy was extremely self-destructive, which I’m sure caused tremendous pain for those who knew and loved her, to have watched this talented young lady destroy her life with addiction.
But even without knowing her in person, beyond all her messy behavior, I could sense that there was also something very sweet and innocent about her because there was a quality in her voice when she sang that exposed ALL of who she was - the dark and the light.
And it was the same with Judy Garland and Billie Holliday, and other great talents. They poured out their heart and soul whenever they performed; openly exposing both their pain and glory.
It seems to be that way with a lot of creative-type people who have exceptional talent, like the recent passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman.
And who really knows why someone does this to themselves, other than they must be in massive pain that drugs and alcohol numb, which turns into an emotional and physical addiction.
I think it’s very easy to say, “Well…I don’t feel sorry for them because they knew what they were doing, so they had it coming.”
I can’t tell you how many cruel and nasty comments I read over at You Tube this week, while watching several documentaries on the life of Amy Winehouse.
Just because someone took drugs and was an alcoholic doesn’t mean they were a horrible person.
Yes, I suppose people who abuse alcohol or drugs must know what they are doing on a logical level, however, I also believe there has to be an underlining subconscious reason for why they continue to do it, which logic no longer has meaning.
They say that people have to hit rock bottom before they get help. And Amy did hit rock bottom and got help, yet unfortunately succumbed.
And that has been the case with many.
I don’t feel sorry for these people. I feel empathy.
It’s easy to presume that because someone was famous, wealthy, and seemed to have had it all, that their drug taking or alcoholism was unforgivable because they were given such a great opportunity and were more fortunate than most people.
But apparently they didn’t have it all did they?
I’m not trying to make excuses for Amy Winehouse or anyone who struggled with addiction and died. But what I am saying is that we don’t really know what someone was going through in their lives or what inner demons they were wrestling with.
I choose to look back on the life of Amy Winehouse and focus on her talent and what she left behind in spite of her demons and addictions.
Not long before Amy passed away, she performed a duet (Body and Soul) with Tony Bennett who had this to say about her:
“She was an extraordinary musician with a rare intuition as a vocalist and I am truly devastated that her exceptional talent has come to such an early end. She was a lovely and intelligent person and when we recorded together she gave a soulful and extraordinary performance."
I choose to remember Amy Winehouse in her glory...
Have wonderful weekend everyone!
Body and Soul