When Michael Jackson tragically and unexpectedly passed away two summers ago after an overdose of Propofol (which may or may not have been administered by Dr. Conrad Murray), the primary coping mechanism that people utilized while dealing with their grief was rekindling their love of his extensive musical legacy. People who hadn’t visited record stores in years flocked to purchase his back catalog, radio stations worldwide spun his songs for months on end and, as a result, Michael Jackson became a bigger star in death than he had been during the last 15 years of his life.
Well, in terms of her cultural relevance, it’s safe to say that Amy Winehouse was no Michael Jackson. However, her untimely (if somewhat expected) death this weekend at the age of 27 has done a lot to rekindle people’s interest in her musical output, which consists of two studio albums (2003’s Frank and 2006’s Back To Black) and a handful of B-sides. Not surprisingly, she currently occupies three of the top six spots on the iTunes album charts (see below), and “Rehab” —sadly, the song that will now forever define her career— has sold enough and been spun enough in the past three days to land it at #15 on this week’s Song Of The Summer Countdown.
As for the rest of the chart, there’s not much to say this week. The top seven spots in this week’s countdown are identical to the top seven songs from last week’s countdown; Katy Perry is still holding court at the top of the charts, and Adele is still nipping at her heels, closely trailed by Pitbull, LMFAO and Lady Gaga.
Ever since news broke that Amy Winehouse had been found dead at 27, the outpouring of grief (including dozens of comments on our announcement) has been a stark reminder of how much, and to how many people, Winehouse continued to matter as an artist. Fans have left tribute comments not only on Winehouse’s own videos on YouTube, but also barely-related ones like Britney Spears’s “If You Seek Amy,” just because they’re looking for any outlet to grieve. As we noted earlier, a range of performers voiced tribute on Twitter, but for some, 140 characters wasn’t enough.
Big Boishared a previously unreleased Dungeon Family remix of her song “Tears Dry On Their Own”:
Several performers blogged touching tributes. Adele‘s “Amy Flies in Paradise xx”, praised the way in which both her sheer talent and her unwillingness to compromise led to a minor sea change in British pop: “Amy paved the way for artists like me and made people excited about British music again whilst being fearlessly hilarious and blas? about the whole thing. I don?t think she ever realised just how brilliant she was and how important she is, but that just makes her even more charming.”
And although the autopsy has just begun today, and toxicology reports will take weeks, the popular consensus is that Winehouse’s death was caused, directly or indirectly, by her struggles with addiction. Dr. Drewtweeted, “SO sad, another lost to addiction. A reminder this is often a fatal condition. Recovery is possible, but sadly not for Amy Winehouse.” But perhaps the most touching tribute on this subject comes from Russell Brand, a fellow performer who famously struggled with issues of addiction. His post For Amy, about the inevitability of one of two types of “the phone call,” is a must-read. We recommend you click through to it, but the multitude of hits has swamped his site, so just in case you can’t get through, we’ve reposted his tribute in its entirety below.
“Rehab” singer Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London apartment today. The cause has not yet been determined. For those who have followed her longstanding battle with depression, eating disorders and substance abuse (a constant source of fodder for tabloids), this sad news may not come as a huge surprise. In August of 2007, Amy came close to death after overdosing on a cocktail of heroin, ecstasy and cocaine – and later that year was found wondering barefoot outside in nothing but a bra and jeans. These incidents were preceded by Amy’s marriage in May of 2007 to Blake Fielder-Civil, who was quoted by a British tabloid as saying he introduced Amy to heroin and crack cocaine. Earlier that same year, Amy performed for VH1 Unplugged. Blake and Amy divorced in 2009.
The singer dominated the 2008 Grammys with five awards for Back to Black, her sophomore album, winning in the categories of Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Known for her singular voice and unorthodox retro look (tattoos, extreme cat-eye makeup and beehive hairdo), Amy is said to have paved the way for artists who wouldn’t previously have fit into the mainstream. Lady Gaga, for one, famously told AOL: “Because of Amy, very strange girls like me go to prom with very good-looking guys. She’s a different kind of woman. I don’t believe that what I do is very digestible, and somehow Amy was the flu for pop music.” Regardless of whether this is true, Winehouse certainly seemed to pave the way for fellow British songbirds Adele and Duffy, both of whom share Amy’s ’60s soul vibe.
In June, YouTube videos surfaced of an intoxicated and discombobulated-looking Winehouse forgetting her own lyrics and getting booed off stage in the first stop of a European tour, which subsequently had to be canceled. Amy was reportedly working on a third album. She joins a long list of musicians who have died at 27. A phenomenon known as The 27 Club, Brian Jones, Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain are among those who died at the same age. Let her legend begin.
Amy, Amy, Amy. We thought you were getting better, not worse! Just two weeks ago, after a short stint in rehab and a clear-headed, successful performance at London’s 100 Club, it was reported that the British songbird’s sobriety was finally on the mend. But in Serbia on Saturday night, Winehouse kicked-off what was supposed to be her European tour, showing up visibly inebriated on stage. Not only could a stumbling Amy barely sing for her Belgrade audience of 20,000 ticket-holders, but her cringe-worthy “performance” was heavily booed in what local press is referring to as “the worst in the history of Belgrade.” An apologetic statement has been issued from her camp, speaking to the incident and canceling her next two shows in Turkey and Greece: Read more…
Amy Winehouse headed back to her home away from home last night – the hospital. The singer was packed up in an ambulance and whisked off as her dad looked on and friend Remi Nicole freaked out. The doctors released Amy this morning, and her dad summed up the drama, saying, “She’s fine, she just mixed up her medication.’
Madame Tussauds wax museum unveiled yet another celebrity statue, and this time the plastic looks way better than the person. The artist, of course, is Amy Winehouse, who has mastered the zombie look better than the extras in Michael Jackson‘s “Thriller” video. But when made of plastic, she looks like the picture of health! Firm, glowing skin! Rosy cheeks! Clean hair! If only it could sing (and dump Blake).
Amy Winehouse‘s loveboat of a junkie husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, has officially been sentence to 27 months in jail for hooking Wino on crack and bloody ballet slippers. Er, or beating up a manager of a pub and then trying to bribe the guy for his silence. They’re both like, equally as bad. Blakey’s been in jail for nine months already, and his wife has taken out her sadness on the crack pipe and her weave. Amy looks like crap and acts like a lunatic, which means we’re in for a fun 27 months. Let’s head to the pub to celebrate! See you in 2011, Blake! [Telegraph]
Amy Winehouse‘s adoring husband Blake Civil-Fielder is allegedly in the middle of a sexy letter-writing romance with a heroin-addicted lady jailbird. Blakey and Melissa Goldstone have been writing to each other for over seven months, and promises her “the best snog of our lives” and insinuates that Amy not only cheated on him (they are in a open relationship now!) but may be into having a threesome.
What a great weekend for Wino wackiness. Amy performed at both Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday celebration and the UK’s Glastonbury festival, and thankfully she was up to her regular insanity! During her Glastonbury set Amy got physical with a fan in the audience, flailing wildly and whacking the guy before a few beefy security dudes stepped in. (Check out the clip above.) Unfazed, Amy then improvised some lines in her song “Some Unholy War” about Blake Incarcerated, adding in “I’m not opening for a c*nt like Kanye.”
Kanye then took to his broken MacBook Air – of course – to tell the world that he doesn’t give a sh*t what Amy Winehouse thinks of him. Do these two thrive off of the drama or what? If Blake gets locked up for good they should seriously think about getting together. It’d be the hottest mess ever!
Holy crap. Have you ever met at 24-year old suffering from the early stages of emphysema? Now you have! Wino is still hospitalized after fainting last week, and she’s frankly not doing well at all. Her dad Mitch – the Joe Simpson of London – told the Daily Mail that, “With smoking the crack cocaine and the cigarettes her lungs are all gunked up. There are nodules around the chest and dark marks. She’s got 70 per cent lung capacity. ” If that sounds bad, it is. “The doctors have told her if she goes back to smoking drugs, it won’t just ruin her voice,” sez Dad.” It will kill her.”