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Amy Winehouse: Life, Death and The 27 Club
Another Great Artist Taken Too Soon
It shouldn't have been a shock. Even her parents lost hope. In 2008 her mother told the press they were preparing for her funeral. It didn't make it any less tragic. Another talented and gifted artist plagued by drug addiction and taken from the world too soon.
Some of us were waiting for Amy Winehouse's comeback. Despite the song that made her famous - She'd been in and out of rehab since the beginning of her career. Her battle with drugs was heartbreakingly public. Pictures of her smoking crack circulated around the internet a few years ago. Just recently she appeared to be snorting cocaine on stage. She even developed emphysthema in her early 20's.
Amy's parents tried intervening. Her parents had tried to get a court order in order to force her to get treatment. The courts wouldn't help. Even if they did, would it have been enough to save her? Sadly, the answer is probably no.
The Infamous 27 Club
For those of you who haven't been paying much attention, Amy Winehouse was only 27 years old at the time of her death. The death of Amy Winehouse has got people talking about The 27 Club. The 27 Club is a name used to describe the famous musicians who died at the age of 27. The list includes music legends Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Brian Jones and Kurt Cobain. This 'club' is so glamourized that it's inspired painters, books and even a movie. A popular website on the Internet is dedicated to the unfortunate rock musicians. Kurt Cobain's mother was quoted saying after his suicide, "I told him not to join that stupid club."
Coincidence or not, the members of the 27 Club have more in common than just dying at the same age. They were all addicts and their addictions may have played a part in all of their deaths.
Jim Morrison died of heart failure. At 27 years old, that's not very common. Morrison was an alcoholic and also abused drugs. Although no autopsy was ever performed, most are in agreement that he overdosed.
Jimi Hendrix died from mixing sleeping pills and alcohol. Janis Joplin died from a heroin overdose. Kurt Cobain committed suicide while high on heroin.
Brian Jones, founder of the Rolling Stones, was found dead at the bottom of his pool. He was a serious drug addict and beyond help. Whether it played a part in his death is unknown but again, many believe he was on drugs at the time of his death.
Amy Winehouse was a well known addict and her drug use was apparent from the beginning of her career. Her parents, perhaps out of desperation, spoke to the press about their concern for Amy and her problems.
The 27 Club, a glamorous club, indeed.
The Harsh Realities of Drug Addiction
An artist is more susceptable to drug addiction than the common person would be. Artists are sensitive, sometimes painfully so. Unfortunately, the world is not designed for sensitive people. Drugs and alcohol may help numb the harsh realities of life. In many cases, drugs work too well and leads to addiction.
Kurt Cobain spoke of his sensitivity in his suicide letter. Janis Joplin was haunted by a troubling childhood. Jim Morrison suffered a childhood trauma. People who knew Amy Winehouse speak of her generosity, kindness and sensitivity. She was nothing like the person we knew her to be.
Fans are critical of Amy Winehouse's parents. Many believe they should have done more to save her. Drug addiction is a disease and there is no easy fix. A person will not get help if s/he does not want the help. You can't force people to do anything if they don't want to do it. Even if a person admits they need help, there is no guarantee that they will succeed in getting clean.
The 27 Club is not to be glamourized. Each of these gifted musicians should serve as a cautionary tale of drug abuse and the lives addiction destroys.